Comparisons of Syndromes and Scales Scored from Parents' Reports
of Preschoolers' Behavioral and Emotional Problems
advances have been made in multicultural evidence-based assessment
of psychopathology among school-age children and adolescents.
Building on previous standardized assessments of psychopathology
at ages 6 to 18 in dozens of societies, Masha Ivanova, Leslie
Rescorla, and international colleagues in 23 societies on
5 continents have tested syndromes and scale scores for behavioral
and emotional problems rated by parents of over 19,000 preschoolers
(Ivanova et al., 2010; Rescorla et al, 2011). Parents of children
selected to be representative of each society completed the
Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1½-5 (CBCL/1½-5)
in the language of the society. To test how well parents'
ratings in each society fit the 7 CBCL/1½-5 syndromes
previously derived from U.S. samples, Ivanova et al. performed
confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) of the data from each
of the 23 non-U.S. societies. The data from every society
were found to fit the 7-syndrome model, as tested by the Root
Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA). The 7 syndromes
thus provide an evidence-based model for conceptualizing and
assessing problems reported by parents of preschoolers from
the U.S. and 23 other societies.
et al. (2011) then tested the distributions of scores on the
7 syndrome scales, plus 5 DSM-oriented scales, a Stress Problems
scale, and broad-band Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total
Problems scales in the 24 societies (including the U.S.).
Small to medium effects of differences among the 24 societies
were found, but mean scale scores for most of the societies
fell within a narrow range of the omnicultural mean of 33.3.
Gender and age differences were similar and very small across
all the societies. To test the degree to which the same CBCL/1½-5
items tended to receive relatively high, medium, or low ratings
in the 24 societies, Rescorla et al. computed correlations
of the mean ratings received by each of the 99 items in each
society with the mean ratings received by each item in every
other society. The mean of all the bi-society correlations
was .78. This indicated considerable similarity in the items
that parents in different societies rated high, medium, or
low. Taken together, the Ivanova et al. and Rescorla et al.
findings support the applicability of the CBCL/1½-5
to assessment of preschoolers in at least the 24 societies
that were included in their studies. The data from these studies
have been used to construct multicultural norms that allow
users to display a child's CBCL/1½-5 scale scores in
relation to norms for societies selected by the user (Achenbach
& Rescorla, 2010).
Achenbach, T.M., & Rescorla, L.A. (2010). Multicultural
Supplement to the Manual for the ASEBA Preschool Forms &
Profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Research
Center for Children, Youth, and Families.
M.Y., et al. (2010). Preschool psychopathology reported by
parents in 23 societies: Testing the seven-syndrome model
of the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1.5-5. Journal
of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
L.A., et al. (2011). International comparisons of behavioral
and emotional problems in preschool children: Parents' reports
from 24 societies. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent
Psychology, 40, 456-467.