Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)

TF-CBT Cohort 14

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)* is a brief screening questionnaire used to assess caregiver perceptions of 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 Analyses:  Paired samples t-tests were conducted to examine pre-post group mean differences on SDQ subscales and total difficulties scores.  Analyses showed statistically significant improvement in all positive and negative psychological attributes assessed by the SDQ.

SDQ Subscales: Paired Sample t-tests

SDQ Subscales: Pre-post Treatment Mean Scores

*** p < .001

SDQ Total Difficulties: Pre-post Treatment Mean Scores

*** p < .001

Individual Clinically-Significant Change:  At pre-treatment, 113 TF-CBT clients had SDQ Total Difficulties scores had SDQ Total Difficulties scores at or above the clinical cut-off score of 17. Of note, 56 clients were missing post-treatment data for the Total Difficulties scale. Analysis of the clients with post-treatment data showed that SDQ Total Difficulties scores for 29 of these 57 clients (51%) decreased to non-clinically significant scores at post-treatment.

For SDQ problem subscales, there were 116, 102, 82, 88, and 138 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, there were missing post-treatment data for 54, 51, 39, 42, and 70 client(s), respectively, on each of these subscales. Analyses of the clients with post-treatment data indicated that there were 33 of 62 (53%), 16 of 51 (31%), 26 of 43 (60%), 23 of 46 (50%), and 31 of 68 (46%), 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 39 clients with pre-treatment scores at or below the clinical cut-off score of 5. Of note, 17 clients were missing post-treatment data for the SDQ Prosocial subscale. Of these clients, there were 17 of 22 (77%) with a SDQ Prosocial score that increased to the non-clinically significant range 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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