Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)

SPARCS Cohort 4

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)* is a brief screening questionnaire used to assess positive and negative psychological attributes of children and adolescents.  Domains assessed include emotional problems, conduct, hyperactivity, peer problems, impact of problems, prosocial skills, and overall difficulties.

Descriptive Statistics:  Pre- and post-treatment assessment measure means, standard deviations, and standard errors for each subscale of the SDQ are listed in the table below, as well as the range of possible scores and clinically significant range for each subscale.

SDQ Subscales: Descriptive Statistics

Repeated Measures:  Repeated measures analyses (paired samples t-tests) were conducted to examine pre-post group mean differences on SDQ subscales and total difficulties scores.  Analyses showed significant improvement in the impact of difficulties.

SDQ Subscales: Paired Sample t-tests

SDQ Subscales: Pre-post Treatment Mean Scores

**p < .01

SDQ Total Difficulties Scores: Pre-post Treatment Mean Scores

Individual Clinically-Significant Change:  At pre-treatment, 71 group participants had pre-treatment SDQ Total Difficulties scores in the clinically significant range (≥ 18).  Of note, 18 participants were missing post-treatment data for the SDQ Total Difficulties scale. Analysis of the participants with post-treatment data showed that the SDQ Total Difficulties scores for 27 of these 53 group members (51%) decreased to non-clinically significant levels at the end of the SPARCS groups.

For SDQ problem subscales, there were 58, 63, 49, 106, and 98 clients, respectively, with pre-treatment SDQ Emotional Symptoms, Conduct Problems, Hyperactivity Symptoms, Peer Problems, and Impact scores at or above the clinical cut-off score (see descriptive table above for each subscale cut-off score). Of note, 16, 14, 11, 25, and 23 participants, respectively, were missing post-treatment data for the SDQ Emotional Symptoms, Conduct Problems, Hyperactivity Symptoms, Peer Problems, and Impact scales. Of the participants with post-treatment data, there were 19 of 42 (45%), 12 of 49 (24%), 15 of 38 (39%), 30 of 81 (37%), and 28 of 75 (37%), respectively, with SDQ Emotional Symptoms, Conduct Problems, Hyperactivity Symptoms, Peer Problems, and Impact scores that decreased to non-clinically significant levels at post-treatment. For the SDQ Prosocial subscale, there were 58 clients with pre-treatment scores at or below the clinical cut-off score of 5. Of note, 15 participants were missing post-treatment data for the SDQ Prosocial subscale. Analysis of the participants with post-treatment data showed that the SDQ Prosocial subscale scores for 14 of these 43 group members (33%) increased to non-clinically significant levels at post-treatment.

* Goodman, R. (1997). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A Research Note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 581-586. http://www.sdqinfo.com/

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