Measurement Invariance of the Parent Version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) Across Community and Clinical Populations
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a popular screening instrument for the detection of social-emotional and behavioral problems in children in community and clinical settings. To sensibly compare SDQ scores across these settings, the SDQ should measure psychosocial difficulties and strengths in the same way across community and clinical populations, that is, the SDQ should be measurement invariant across both populations. We examined whether measurement invariance of the parent version of the SDQ holds using data from a community sample (N = 707) and a clinical sample (N = 931). The results of our analysis suggest that measurement invariance of the SDQ parent version across community and clinical populations is tenable, implying that one can compare the SDQ scores of children across these populations. This is a favorable result since it is common clinical practice to interpret the scores of a clinical individual relative to norm scores that are based on community samples. The findings of this study support the continued use of the parent version of the SDQ in community and clinical settings.
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European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 34 (34), 238-246