An Initial Psychometric Evaluation of the CBCL 6-18 in a Sample of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Rochester Institute of Technology, School Psychology Department, 18 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, N.Y. 14623-5604, United States.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (Impact Factor: 2.96). 01/2012; 6(1):96-108. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2011.03.009
Source: PubMed


Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often present with co-occurring emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The Child Behavior Checklist 6-18 (CBCL; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) is an EBD measure that contains several norm-referenced scales derived through factor analysis of data from the general pediatric population. The psychometric properties of this widely used and well-researched measure have not been evaluated in samples of youth with ASD. This study evaluated the CBCL's internal structure, scale reliability, criterion-related validity, and diagnostic accuracy using archival data from a well-characterized sample of youth with ASD (N = 122). Confirmatory factor analyses supported the unidimensionality of the CBCL's syndrome scales and its Internalizing-Externalizing factor structure. Significance tests indicated that many scales discriminated between two subgroups: a group of individuals with ASD+EBD and a group with ASD alone. Diagnostic accuracy analyses indicated that the CBCL had good sensitivity but low specificity for detecting co-occurring disorders. Results supported the use of the CBCL in conjunction with other clinical data when assessing for EBD in youth with ASD.

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    • "The DSM- Oriented Anxiety Problems scale was chosen for the purposes of the current study because it includes only items specific to anxiety (as opposed to the Anxious/Depressed Syndrome scale, which includes affective symptoms). The CBCL has strong psychometric properties and has also been used among samples of children with ASD (Pandolfi et al. 2012). "
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