Thomas Achenbach

Thomas Achenbach
University of Vermont | UVM · Psychiatry and Psychology

About

239
Publications
165,645
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61,990
Citations
Citations since 2017
23 Research Items
17064 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000
Introduction

Publications

Publications (239)
Article
Objective: Meta-analyses were used to test associations of parental depression with child internalizing and externalizing problems, based on 107 cross-sectional and 127 longitudinal effects for 164,047 parent-child pairs in 112 studies published between 2009 and 2020. Method: For each child, internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed...
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Background/Objective Emotional dysregulation (ED) is a dimensional psychological domain, previously operationalized by instruments of the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) for children and adolescents; however, its cross-cultural and bottom-up characteristics among adult populations are still unknown. Method We examined scor...
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Background: Clinicians increasingly serve youths from societal/cultural backgrounds different from their own. This raises questions about how to interpret what such youths report. Rescorla et al. (2019, European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 28, 1107) found that much more variance in 72,493 parents' ratings of their offspring's mental health prob...
Article
The purpose of this study was to test whether a syndrome model of elder psychopathology derived from collateral ratings, such as from spouses and adult children, in the United States would be generalizable in 11 other societies. Societies represented South America, Asia, and Europe. The Older Adult Behavior Checklist (OABCL) was completed by collat...
Article
Shortcomings of approaches to classifying psychopathology based on expert consensus have given rise to contemporary efforts to classify psychopathology quantitatively. In this paper, we review progress in achieving a quantitative and empirical classification of psychopathology. A substantial empirical literature indicates that psychopathology is ge...
Article
Objectives: To conduct international comparisons of self-reports, collateral reports, and cross-informant agreement regarding older adult psychopathology. Participants: We compared self-ratings of problems (e.g. I cry a lot) and personal strengths (e.g. I like to help others) for 10,686 adults aged 60-102 years from 19 societies and collateral r...
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Bottom-up paradigms prioritize empirical data from which to derive conceptualizations of psychopathology. These paradigms use multivariate statistics to identify syndromes of problems that tend to co-occur plus higher-order groupings such as those designated as internalizing and externalizing. Bottom-up assessment instruments obtain self-ratings an...
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Objectives: As the world population ages, psychiatrists will increasingly need instruments for measuring constructs of psychopathology that are generalizable to diverse elders. The study tested whether syndromes of co-occurring problems derived from self-ratings of psychopathology by US elders would fit self-ratings by elders in 19 other societies...
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To improve international needs assessment for child mental health services, it is necessary to employ standardized assessment methods that can be easily administered and scored, can be interpreted by practitioners and researchers with various kinds of training, and that perform similarly across many societies. To this end, we tested the effects of...
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Unfortunately, due to a technical error the International ASEBA Consortium was not listed as author in the original publication. This error is corrected via this correction.
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Abstract The purpose of this invited article is to present multicultural norms and related international findings obtained with the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) by indigenous researchers in over 50 societies. The article describes ASEBA instruments for which multicultural norms are available, plus procedures for construc...
Article
This study tested international similarities and differences in scores on a scale comprising 12 items identified by international mental health experts as being very consistent with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) category of autism spectrum disorder. Participants were 19,850 preschoolers in 24 societies rated by...
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Background: The landmark findings of the Mother-Infant Transaction Program (MITP) showing improved neurodevelopment of preterm infants following parent-sensitivity training delivered in the neonatal intensive care unit have not been consistently replicated. This study evaluated an MITP-type intervention in terms of neurobehavioural development to...
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Full-text available
Shortcomings of approaches to classifying psychopathology based on expert consensus have given rise to contemporary efforts to classify psychopathology quantitatively. In this paper, we review progress in achieving a quantitative and empirical classification of psychopathology. A substantial empirical literature indicates that psychopathology is ge...
Article
Our objective was to examine international similarities and differences in the Dysregulation Profile (DP) of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Teacher’s Report Form (TRF), and Youth Self-Report (YSR) via comparisons of data from many societies. Primary samples were those studied by Rescorla et al. (2012): CBCL: N = 69,866, 42 societies; YSR: N =...
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As societies become increasingly diverse, mental health professionals need instruments for assessing emotional, behavioral, and social problems in terms of constructs that are supported within and across societies. Building on decades of research findings, multisample alignment confirmatory factor analyses tested an empirically based 8-syndrome mod...
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Purpose of Review The purpose of this review is to present a transdiagnostic dimensional approach to evidence-based assessment designed to facilitate applications of neuroscientific advances to phenotypic psychopathology in later life. Recent Findings Standardized assessment forms were developed to obtain collateral- and self-ratings of a broad sp...
Preprint
This paper introduces a new classification of mental illness, the Hierarchical Taxonomy Of Psychopathology (HiTOP). It aims to address several major shortcomings of traditional taxonomies and provide a better framework for researchers and clinicians.
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The reliability and validity of traditional taxonomies are limited by arbitrary boundaries between psychopathology and normality, often unclear boundaries between disorders, frequent disorder co-occurrence, heterogeneity within disorders, and diagnostic instability. These taxonomies went beyond evidence available on the structure of psychopathology...
Article
Background: Originating in the 1960s, the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) comprises a family of instruments for assessing problems and strengths for ages 1?-90+ years. Purpose: To provide an overview of the ASEBA, related research, and future directions for empirically based assessment and taxonomy. Content: Standardiz...
Article
As the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5) acknowledges, DSM diagnostic categories do not fit the real-world heterogeneity, comorbidity, and complexity of most mental health problems. Many efforts to develop and test evidence-based treatments also fail to take account of the heterogeneity, comorbidity, and complex...
Article
Objective We used latent class analysis (LCA) to examine the prevalence and characteristics of the Dysregulation Profile (DP) based on data from the Youth Self-Report (YSR). The DP comprises elevated scores on the Anxious/Depressed, Attention Problems, and Aggressive Behavior syndromes and thus reflects significant problems in self-regulation of af...
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To advance international mental health assessment, instruments that have been internationally validated are needed. To this end, we analyzed ratings from 14 societies on the Adult Behavior Checklist (ABCL), a collateral-report form parallel to the Adult Self-Report (ASR; Achenbach and Rescorla 2003) for ages 18 to 59. Both the ABCL and the ASR asse...
Article
Objective More than 75,000 articles have been published on internalizing and externalizing problems. To advance clinical and research applications of internalizing/externalizing concepts and data, our objectives were as follows: to provide an overview of recent research on internalizing/externalizing problems assessed at ages 1½ to 18 years; to ide...
Article
This study tested for similarities and differences across societies in self-ratings of problems, personal strengths, and aspects of adaptive functioning on the Adult Self-Report (ASR) for nonclinical samples of adults ages 18 to 59 in 17 societies (N = 10,197). Results indicated considerable consistency across societies regarding mean ratings on th...
Chapter
This chapter argues for applying developmental research on psychopathology to adults as well as to children. It also argues for using standardized, multisource assessment data from diverse populations to construct and norm empirically based taxonomies of psychopathology. Findings for hundreds of thousands of individuals from over fifty societies ar...
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Aggression (e.g., assaulting others, bullying, oppositionality; AGG) and non-aggressive rule-breaking (e.g., lying, stealing, vandalism; RB) appear to constitute meaningfully distinct dimensions of antisocial behavior. Despite these differences, it is equally clear that AGG and RB are moderately-to-strongly intercorrelated with one another. To date...
Chapter
This chapter takes account of psychopathology across the life span. To set the stage for considering assessment, taxonomy, and diagnosis, it first outlines the life span and multicultural perspectives that are now so important. Thereafter, the chapter addresses the developmental and psychopathology components of developmental psychopathology, the n...
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This study tested the multi-society generalizability of an eight-syndrome assessment model derived from factor analyses of American adults’ self-ratings of 120 behavioral, emotional, and social problems. The Adult Self-Report (ASR; Achenbach and Rescorla 2003) was completed by 17,152 18–59-year-olds in 29 societies. Confirmatory factor analyses tes...
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Parent-teacher cross-informant agreement, although usually modest, may provide important clinical information. Using data for 27,962 children from 21 societies, we asked the following: (a) Do parents report more problems than teachers, and does this vary by society, age, gender, or type of problem? (b) Does parent-teacher agreement vary across diff...
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El propósito fue avanzar en la metodología clínica y de investigación de la evaluación psicopatológica mediante el examen de la generalización internacional de un modelo de 8 síndromes derivados de evaluaciones de personas allegadas a adultos, en sus problemas emocionales, sociales y de pensamiento. Informantes allegados a los adultos calificaron a...
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The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) for school-age children includes three instruments for assessing emotional and/or behavioral problems: Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), completed by parents, Youth Self-Report (YSR), completed by adolescents and Teacher's Report Form (TRF), completed by teachers. This review article gives...
Article
To review international findings on the prevalence of diagnosed disorders, generalizability of dimensional scales, and distributions of dimensional scores for school-age children and to address the conceptual and clinical issues raised by the findings. A review of findings for interviews (Development and Well-Being Assessment, Diagnostic Interview...
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To build on Achenbach, Rescorla, and Ivanova (2012) by (a) reporting new international findings for parent, teacher, and self-ratings on the Child Behavior Checklist, Youth Self-Report, and Teacher's Report Form; (b) testing the fit of syndrome models to new data from 17 societies, including previously underrepresented regions; (c) testing effects...
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We used population sample data from 25 societies to answer the following questions: (a) How consistently across societies do adolescents report more problems than their parents report about them? (b) Do levels of parent-adolescent agreement vary among societies for different kinds of problems? (c) How well do parents and adolescents in different so...
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This study tested societal effects on caregiver/teacher ratings of behavioral/emotional problems for 10,521 preschoolers from 15 societies. Many societies had problem scale scores within a relatively narrow range, despite differences in language, culture, and other characteristics. The small age and gender effects were quite similar across societie...
Article
This study examined the criterion validity of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Teacher's Report Form (TRF) problem scales and items in demographically-matched Singapore samples of referred and non-referred children (840 in each sample for the CBCL and 447 in each sample for the TRF). Internal consistency estimates for both the CBCL and TRF s...
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Caregivers and teachers from 14 societies rated 9,389 1.5 to 5-year-olds on the Caregiver-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000). General population samples were obtained in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern, Northern, Central, Western, and Southern Europe, and South America. The 2-level 6-syndrome C-TRF model derived on a mostly U.S....
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International comparisons were conducted of preschool children's behavioral and emotional problems as reported on the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1½–5 by parents in 24 societies (N = 19,850). Item ratings were aggregated into scores on syndromes; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–oriented scales; a Stress Problems scale; a...
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Rating scales are often used to measure behavioral constructs. Yet, different informants' ratings may not necessarily agree. The situational specificity (SS) perspective postulates that discrepancies between ratings by different informants are primarily attributable to contextual behavior of the people being rated. The multitrait-multimethod (MTMM)...
Article
The special section articles demonstrate the importance of informant discrepancies. They also illustrate challenges posed by discrepancies, plus opportunities for advancing research and practice. This commentary addresses these cross-cutting issues: (a) Discrepancies affect many kinds of assessment besides ratings of children's problems. (b) Sympto...
Article
Objective: To prospectively examine the association between mode of delivery and childhood psychopathology. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Eighteen counties and three cities in China. Population: A total of 4190 preschool children whose mothers were registered in a perinatal surveillance programme were assessed with the Child B...
Chapter
SynonymsASEBA; CBCLDescriptionThe Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) comprises a family of forms for rating behavioral/emotional problems and adaptive characteristics. For ages 1½ to 90+ years, developmentally appropriate forms are designed to be completed by collaterals who know the person who is being assessed. These forms i...
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Objective: To test the fit of a seven-syndrome model to ratings of preschoolers' problems by parents in very diverse societies. Method: Parents of 19,106 children 18 to 71 months of age from 23 societies in Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America completed the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1.5–5 (CBCL/1.5–5). Confirmatory...
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To test the fit of a seven-syndrome model to ratings of preschoolers' problems by parents in very diverse societies. Parents of 19,106 children 18 to 71 months of age from 23 societies in Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America completed the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1.5-5 (CBCL/1.5-5). Confirmatory factor analyses wer...
Article
Self-administered by spouses and other collateral informants, the nationally normed Older Adult Behavior Checklist (OABCL) provides standardized data on diverse aspects of older adult psychopathology and adaptive functioning. We tested the validity of the Older Adult Behavior Checklist (OABCL) scale scores in terms of associations with diagnoses of...
Article
This article presents multicultural ways to advance knowledge of children's problems, to fashion conceptual and practical mental health tools, and to use these tools to help children. Diagnostically based scales and statistically derived syndromes are scored from parallel forms completed by population samples of parents, caregivers, teachers, and y...
Article
To investigate the association between sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and parent report of attention and behavioral problems in children, as well as the association between sleep stage duration and measures of child functioning in a clinically referred sample. A chart review was conducted of 95 children with clinical history of SDB who completed...
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In previous longitudinal studies in the US, lower socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with more emotional and behavioral problems. It remains unclear whether these findings can be generalized outside the US, as different countries vary in their health care systems and prevention of psychopathology in youth. Therefore, we studied the same asso...
Article
This study examined season-of-assessment differences in parent and child reports of depressive problems on well-validated instruments in 2009 U.S. children and adolescents, aged 6 to 18 years, from a nationally representative population survey. A parent completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for each participant and 1226 of the 11-18-year-ol...
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Individuals react in a variety of ways when experiencing environmental challenges exceeding their capacity to cope adaptively. Some researchers have suggested that Asian populations tend to react to excessive stress with somatic symptoms, whereas Western populations tend to respond more with affective or depressive symptoms. Other researchers, howe...
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Unlabelled: Standardized diagnostic interviews (SDIs) have become de facto gold standards for clinical research. However, because clinical practitioners seldom use SDIs, it is essential to determine how well SDIs agree with clinical diagnoses. In meta-analyses of 38 articles published from 1995 to 2006 (N = 15,967 probands), mean kappas (z-transfo...
Article
The Maser et al. (2009) arguments for changes in DSM-V are extended by arguing for diagnostic quantification that includes, but is not limited to, dimensions. The following clinical and research realities require quantification of diagnostic criteria and adjustable diagnostic thresholds for children but are also desirable for adults: developmental...
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Around the world, cultural blending and conflict pose challenges for assessment and understanding of psychopathology. Economical, evidence-based, culturally robust assessment is needed for research, for answering public health questions, and for evaluating immigrant, refugee, and minority children. This article applies multicultural perspectives to...
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In assessments of attitudes, personality, and psychopathology, unidimensional scale scores are commonly obtained from Likert scale items to make inferences about individuals' trait levels. This study approached the issue of how best to combine Likert scale items to estimate test scores from the practitioner's perspective: Does it really matter whic...
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As a basis for theories of psychopathology, clinical psychology and related disciplines need sound taxonomies that are generalizable across diverse populations. To test the generalizability of a statistically derived 8-syndrome taxonomic model for youth psychopathology, confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were performed on the Youth Self-Report (T....
Article
To determine the level of behavioral and emotional problems among a sample of Algerian children and adolescents aged 6-18 years living in Algiers. A school-based sample of 1,405 children and adolescents was recruited; problems were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist filled out by parents or surrogates. The scores varied with age, gender, an...
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Standardized assessment instruments developed in one society are often used in other societies. However, it is important to determine empirically how assessment instruments developed in one society function in others. The present study tested the fit of the Teacher's Report Form syndrome structures in 20 diverse societies using data for 30,030 6- t...
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To access publisher full text version of this article. Please click on the hyperlink in Additional Links field This study compared parents' ratings of behavioral and emotional problems on the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1991;Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) for general population samples of children ages 6 to 16 from 31 societies (N = 55,508)....
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There is a growing need for multicultural collaboration in child mental health services, training, and research. To facilitate such collaboration, this study tested the 8-syndrome structure of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) in 30 societies. Parents' CBCL ratings of 58,051 6- to 18-year-olds were subjected to confirmatory factor analyses, which...
Article
The expression psychopathology in general and child psychopathology in particular, is affected by multiple sources of variance. Some of these sources include gender differences, informant differences, and age-related differences. In this paper, we discuss how these sources of variance complicate both research and clinical management. We argue that...
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In this study, the authors compared ratings of behavioral and emotional problems and positive qualities on the Youth Self-Report (T. M. Achenbach & L. A. Rescorla, 2001) by adolescents in general population samples from 24 countries (N = 27,206). For problem scales, country effect sizes (ESs) ranged from 3% to 9%, whereas those for gender and age r...
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Abstact This study compared teachers’ ratings of behavioral and emotional problems on the Teacher's Report Form for general population samples in 21 countries (N = 30,957). Correlations between internal consistency coefficients in different countries averaged .90. Effects of country on scale scores ranged from 3% to 13%. Gender effects ranged from...
Article
Determining whether outcome scores are close to normative means is a commendable way to assess clinical significance. However, to be valid, norms require samples that are carefully chosen to be representative of relevant populations. The Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory norms used by Sheldrick et al. were not representative of relevant populations,...
Article
Discrepancies are often found between self-reports and reports by others regarding psychopathology. Both the person being assessed and various informants may contribute crucial data concerning a person's functioning. Comprehensive assessment requires data from multiple informants. Such data can be easily obtained with parallel self-report and colla...
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Two mechanisms of the hypothesized social causation of psychopathology--differential incidence and cumulative prevalence--were tested over 9 years in a nationally representative sample of 1,075 children and youths, ages 8-17 at Time 1 (1986). Analyses using parental responses on behavior checklists at 4 time points showed significant increases in c...
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This article addresses the following cross-cutting issues evident in the special section of this issue: (a) current diagnoses do not provide adequate validity criteria; (b) the heterogeneity and comorbidity of target problems raise taxonomic challenges; (c) accurate assessment requires integration of multisource data; (d) developmental variations m...
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Assessment of adult psychopathology relies heavily on self-reports. To determine how well self-reports agree with reports by "informants" who know the person being assessed, the authors examined 51,000 articles published over 10 years in 52 peer-reviewed journals for correlations between self-reports and "informants" reports. Qualifying correlation...
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We used behavioral and emotional problem items to construct (a) nosologically based Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) oriented scales from experts' ratings of the items' consistency with DSM-IV (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) diagnostic categories, and (b) statistically based syndromes from factor analyse...
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In this reply to Widiger (2005/this issue), we make the following points: (a) Multiple taxonomic strategies should be considered for psychopathology; (b) Achenbach, Bernstein, and Dumenci (2005/this issue) illustrated a top-down, expert-judgment strategy and a bottom-up, statistical strategy for taxonomically organizing 123 problem items; (c) some...