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Multicultural Applications of the ASEBA

The ASEBA is especially good for multicultural applications, because its broad spectrum of specific problem items can be rated by different informants without specialized training. ASEBA forms are used for epidemiological surveys, clinical assessment, outcome evaluations, research, and other purposes in many cultures. For more information, go to multicultural research.

Visit the Research page of this website to view abstracts and references for studies from around the world. The Bibliography of Published Studies Using the ASEBA provides references for all these studies and thousands more.

Module with Multicultural Options for Ages 1½-5

Based on over 27,000 CBCLs and C-TRFs from 24 societies, the MMO/1½-5 scores problem scales with norms for societies that have relatively low problem scores (Group 1 societies), intermediate scores (Group 2), or high scores (Group 3). Select societies by name or select Group 1, 2, or 3 norms for profiles of syndrome, DSM-oriented, Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems scales. You can also select norms for displaying scale scores in cross-informant bar graphs for multiple CBCLs and C-TRFs per child. Scores from each form can even be displayed in relation to more than one set of norms; e.g., display scores from a CBCL completed by an immigrant parent with norms for the parent’s home society and the host society. You can then see whether scores are clinically deviant according to either or both sets of norms. In addition to the syndrome and DSM-oriented scales, the MMO/1½-5 scores the Stress Problems scale.

The Multicultural Supplement to the Manual for the ASEBA Preschool Forms and Profiles fully documents construction of the multicultural norms for the CBCL/1½-5 and C-TRF. It also details the construction and psychometrics of the Stress Problems scale. The Supplement illustrates multicultural scoring, cross-informant comparisons, and practical applications in school, mental health, medical, and forensic contexts. The Supplement also reports multicultural findings for confirmatory factor analyses, internal consistencies, cross-informant correlations, and distributions of scale scores. Updates are provided for the Language Development Survey (LDS) of the CBCL/1½-5. Research guidelines and extensive reviews of research on the instruments are also provided, plus a bibliography of over 300 publications reporting their use with young children.

Module with Multicultural Options for Ages 6-18 (MMO/6-18)

You can display CBCL/6-18, TRF, and YSR profiles of problem scale scores in relation to three different sets of norms derived from normative samples in many societies. The three sets of norms are based on samples from societies where problem scores were relatively low (designated as "Group 1"), medium ("Group 2"), or high ("Group 3"). Choose the norms most appropriate for evaluating each child. For refugee, immigrant and other children for whom more than one set of norms may be relevant, you can display the children's scale scores in relation to one set of norms and then another set. You can also display cross-informant bar graphs in which the bars for each informant are based on your choice of norms. If a child is from a society for which normative data are not yet available, you can select a society that you consider relevant, or you can select the ASEBA Standard norms.

The Multicultural Supplement to the Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms & Profiles fully documents the basis for the multicultural norms, the construction of the Stress Problems, Obsessive Compulsive Problems, and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo scales, plus psychometric data. It also provides extensive illustrations of practical and research applications.

Module with Multicultural Options for Ages 18-59

The MMO/18-59 enables you to display individuals' ASR and ABCL scores in relation to your choice of norms for societies with relatively low scores ("Group 1"), medium scores ("Group 2"), or high scores ("Group 3"). You can also display scale scores in relation to U.S. norms. Multicultural norm options are available for adaptive functioning, personal strengths, syndromes, DSM-oriented scales, Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems. Multicultural norm options are also available for the Obsessive-Compulsive Problems (OCP) and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) scales that were added in 2015. You can choose the multicultural norms most appropriate for ASRs completed by clients who are being assessed and for ABCLs completed by collaterals to assess the clients. If you think that more than one multicultural norm group may be relevant to evaluating ASR or ABCL scores, you can display results in relation to each relevant norm group.

The Multicultural Supplement to the Manual for the ASEBA Adult Forms & Profiles details the construction of multicultural norms, plus the OCP and SCT scales that were added in 2015. Using data from the societies included in the multicultural norm groups, the Supplement reports confirmatory factor analyses that support multicultural applications of the ASR and ABCL syndromes, plus internal consistencies and cross-informant correlations of scales for ages 18-59. The Supplement also illustrates practical applications of multicultural norms to cross-informant comparisons of scores obtained from the ASR and ABCL. It provides guidelines for research use of the ASR and ABCL, as well as extensive reviews of studies that report findings in many societies. As described below, the Supplement details the development and use of the Multicultural Family Assessment Module (MFAM).

Multicultural Family Assessment Module (MFAM)

The MFAM enables you to enter and compare data from the CBCL/6-18, TRF, YSR, ASR, and ABCL. This is especially valuable for family-oriented approaches to working with children and parents. Bar graphs display side-by-side comparisons of scores on 7 syndromes and 4 DSM-oriented scales that have counterparts for ages 6-18 and 18-59. The bars are normed by age, gender, type of informant, and society. If users deem it appropriate, they can show parents the bar graphs to help them understand variations among reports by different informants regarding their child's functioning and their own functioning. The bar graphs also enable parents to see similarities and differences between what is reported for their child and for themselves. This can strengthen therapeutic alliances with parents to change their own behavior as well as their child's.

The Guide to Family Assessment Using the ASEBA provides instructions for using the MFAM to assess children and parents. It also provides case illustrations of how to present MFAM graphs to parents and how to document family members' progress and outcomes over the course of interventions

The Multicultural Guide for the ASEBA provides a quick introduction to multicultural applications of the ASEBA, plus practical illustrations and guidelines for using the multicultural software.

Multicultural Understanding of Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: Implications for Mental Health Assessment by T.M. Achenbach and L.A. Rescorla (2007) extensively documents multicultural findings obtained with empirically based and diagnostically based assessment instruments. The book thoroughly appraises relations between the two approaches and contributions of multicultural research to understanding, assessing, preventing, and treating psychopathology.

Copyright © 2015 by Thomas Achenbach