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      Behavioral and Emotional Problems Among Italian Children and Adolescents Aged 4 to 18 Years as Reported by Parents and Teachers


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          The aims of this study were the Italian standardization of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/4-18) and the Teacher's Report Form (TRF), the analysis of the internal consistency of the two instruments, and the evaluation of the agreement between parents' and teachers' ratings. A group of 1423 parents and 1464 teachers of children and adolescents aged 4 to 18 years, from three different provinces of Northern Italy, were randomly recruited. Boys scored higher than girls on the Externalizing scales on both CBCL and TRF, while there were no significant differences between the two sexes on the Internalizing scales. In general, internalizing problems increased with age, whereas externalizing behaviors decreased, mainly through a reduction of aggressive problems in older subjects. For most scales, low socioeconomic status was associated with high problem scores. Most scales of the CBCL and the TRF showed a satisfactory internal consistency, with higher α coefficients for overt behaviors. A low - to - moderate parents' and teachers' agreement was found, with the higher correlation found for the Attention Problems scale. Overall, the figures of this first standardization are in line with the results of most studies carried out in Western and Eastern countries, evidencing a good applicability of Achenbach's instruments in Italy.

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          Most cited references25

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          Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests

          Psychometrika, 16(3), 297-334
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            Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity.

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              Comparisons of problems reported by parents of children in 12 cultures: total problems, externalizing, and internalizing.

              To compare parent-reported problems for children in 12 cultures. Child Behavior Checklists were analyzed for 13,697 children and adolescents, aged 6 through 17 years, from general population samples in Australia, Belgium, China, Germany, Greece, Israel, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States. Comparisons of 12 cultures across ages 6 through 11 and 9 cultures across ages 6 through 17 yielded medium effect sizes for cross-cultural variations in Total Problem, Externalizing, and Internalizing scores. Puerto Rican scores were the highest, while Swedish scores were the lowest. With great cross-cultural consistency, Total and Externalizing scores declined with age, while Internalizing scores increased; boys obtained higher Total and Externalizing scores but lower Internalizing scores than girls. Cross-cultural correlations were high among the mean item scores. Empirically based assessment provides a robust methodology for assessing and comparing problems reported for children from diverse cultures. Age and gender variations are cross-culturally consistent. Although clinical cutoff points should not necessarily be uniform across all cultures, empirically based assessment offers a cost-effective way to identify problems for which children from diverse cultural backgrounds may need help.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Psychological Assessment
                Hogrefe Publishing
                January 2004
                : 20
                : 2
                : 124-133
                [ 1 ] Child Psychiatry Unit, Scientific Institute “Eugenio Medea”, Lecco
                [ 2 ] Child Psychiatry Unit, Scientific Institute “Eugenio Medea”, Lecco, Department of Neuropsychiatric Sciences, Scientific Institute H San Raffaele, Milano, Developmental Psychopathology Unit, Department of Psychology of the University “Vita-Salute San Raffaele,”, Milano, Italy
                Author notes
                Frigerio Alessandra, Child Psychiatry Unit, Scientific Institute “Eugenio Medea”, Via don Luigi Monza 20, I-2342 Bosisio Parini, Lecco, Italy, +39 031 877381 +39 031 877499 frigerio@ 123456bp.lnf.it
                Copyright @ 2004
                Original Articles

                Assessment, Evaluation & Research methods,Psychology,General behavioral science


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