Psychometrics of the SDQ in Spanish.


With the recent influx of Latinos into the United States, it is essential to understand how their backgrounds and cultures will affect the way they view their children’s emotional, social, and educational development. Researchers continue to evaluate the psychometrics of various screening instruments in order to ensure a reliable and valid Spanish-language instrument is being used to measure children’s behaviors. The purpose of this study was to compare the psychometric properties of the Spanish version with the English version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a 25-item behavioral screener. Participants included in this study were 488 English-speaking parents and 435 Spanish-speaking parents of preschool age children (ages 3-5) that took part in the California University (Irvine) Initiative for the Development of Attention and Readiness (CUIDAR) program from 2004-2008. This study used data from the CUIDAR program to explore mean rating differences between the English and Spanish versions of the SDQ, along with coefficient alpha as an indicator of reliability at the scale and composite level, and factor analytic evidence of score validity. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to compare the relative fit of multiple models, including the Five First Order Factor (5F) Model that is prevalent in research on the SDQ. Results indicated mean ratings of the individual scales and the Total Difficulties scales were very similar across both language forms. Reliability coefficients indicated alphas were higher for the English forms compared to the Spanish forms at the scale and composite level, although neither form had adequate reliability at the scale level. Finally, the 5F Model was the best-fitting and most valid representation of all 25 items of the SDQ, despite the language of the form. The English models also fit the proposed factor structure better than the Spanish models did.