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Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Full version

The instrument is freely available here:
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

NeuroRehab Core: Pediatric (ages 3-16)
Supplemental: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Exploratory: Sport-Related Concussion (SRC) Subacute (after 72 hours to 3 months) and Persistent/Chronic (3 months and greater post concussion)
Short Description of Instrument
The SDQ is a screening measure for detecting behavior problems. There are multiple versions of the SDQ, depending on the age of the child, and the specific person completing the form (e.g., teacher/parent, self-completion). Domains include emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationships problems, and prosocial behavior.
 A.  All versions of the SDQ include 25-items pertaining to attributes and are divided into five sub-scales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems and pro-social behavior.
B.  Extended versions of the SDQ have questions pertaining to whether the respondent thinks the child has a problem and further questions about chronicity, distress, social impairment and burden to others.
C.  There are two follow-up questions for use after an intervention. The follow-up questions of the SDQ ask about the past one month, as opposed to the past six months or this school year, which is the reference period for the standard versions. May be completed by children aged 11-16, or by parents or teachers of children aged 4-16. It can be completed in about 5 minutes using paper and pencil.
Comments/Special Instructions
NeuroRehab Specific:
This measure is appropriate for ages 3-16 years. It is difficult to capture diagnosis traits in the first two years of a child's life. This tool assesses positive characteristics and is harmonious with NIH values of showing respect for individual differences.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: Questions are answered on a 3-point Likert scale. The score for each scale is the sum of item scores, generating a scale score from 0-10. A total difficulties score (from scores for hyperactivity, emotional symptoms, conduct problems and peer problems) ranges from 0-40.
Psychometric Properties: The website lists over 100 papers that describe the normative and psychometric properties in English and other languages.
NeuroRehab Specific:
Strengths: The SDQ is a broad screening instrument for behavioral disturbance used in large epidemiological studies. It is shorter than the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) with only 25 items. It is a complement to the PedsQL because it focuses on problem behaviors. In addition to the pediatric versions, there is also an adult version. It is free and available in multiple languages.
Sport-Related Concussion Specific:  
Advantages: This is an established measure in children with more severe acquired brain injury with initial use in the subacute phase in an international population which was referred to as "mild TBI" (not sport-related concussion specific) but appears to include at least some children with more severe injuries. Brief rating scale (25 items) with reasonable psychometric properties and concurrent validity with like measures.
Limitations: This is not a TBI-specific measure, and sensitivity has not been established in sport-related concussion. Minimal research with mild TBI, none with sports concussion.
Gale E, Holling A. Young people and stigma. YoungMinds Magazine. 2000;49-50.
Goodman R. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A Research Note. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1997;38(5):581-586.
Goodman R, Scott S. Comparing the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist: Is small beautiful? J Abnor Child Psychol. 1999;25:17-24.
Petersen C, Scherwath A, Fink J, Koch U. Health-related quality of life and psychosocial consequences after mild traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents. Brain Inj. 2008;22(3):215-221.
The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Retrieved on July 12, 2012, from California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.  
Document last updated March 2022