The use of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in Southern European countries

Gian Marco Marzocchi, Christiane Capron, Mario Di Pietro, E. Duran Tauleria, Michel Duyme, Alessandra Frigerio, Maria Filomena Gaspar, Helena Hamilton, Gérard Pithon, Alexandra Simões, Carine Thérond

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This paper reports a selection of completed or ongoing studies that have evaluated or applied the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in five countries of Southern Europe: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, and France. In Italy, the SDQ has been used to study its concurrent validity with other norm-based instruments (Child Behavior Checklist - CBCL and Disruptive Behavior Disorder Rating Scale - DBDRS), to assess the efficacy of a behavioural school training, and as part of an epidemiological study. In Spain, the SDQ was used to analyse the association between respiratory and other behavioural problems. In Portugal and Croatia, psychometric properties of the three versions of the SDQ (parent, teacher, and self-reports) were investigated in samples of children ranging from 5 to 16 years. Past and ongoing studies in France have administered the SDQ to estimate inter-rater agreement between parents, teachers, and pupils, to carry out a large-scale epidemiological study, and to evaluate the efficacy of a parent training programme. In a second section, scale means obtained with the teacher version of the SDQ in three community-based samples of 7-8 year-old children from Italy, Portugal, and Spain are compared. The results show that, according to their teachers' ratings, Italian pupils showed less prosocial behaviour than their Spanish and Portuguese agemates, whereas the Portuguese children were rated as being more hyperactive and inattentive than comparable Italian and Spanish children. Possible causes underlying the observed differences between national SDQ means are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Supplement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Behaviour problems
  • Cross-national comparisons
  • Rating scales
  • Southern Europe
  • Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Marzocchi, G. M., Capron, C., Di Pietro, M., Duran Tauleria, E., Duyme, M., Frigerio, A., Gaspar, M. F., Hamilton, H., Pithon, G., Simões, A., & Thérond, C. (2004). The use of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in Southern European countries. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Supplement, 13(2).