The discriminative capacity of CBCL/11/2-5-DSM5 scales to identify disruptive and internalizing disorders in preschool children.


This paper studies the discriminative capacity of CBCL/11/2-5 (Manual for the ASEBA Preschool-Age Forms & Profiles, University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families, Burlington, 2000) DSM5 scales attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), anxiety and depressive problems for detecting the presence of DSM5 (DSM5 diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, APA, Arlington, 2013) disorders, ADHD, ODD, Anxiety and Mood disorders, assessed through diagnostic interview, in children aged 3-5. Additionally, we compare the clinical utility of the CBCL/11/2-5-DSM5 scales with respect to analogous CBCL/11/2-5 syndrome scales. A large community sample of 616 preschool children was longitudinally assessed for the stated age group. Statistical analysis was based on ROC procedures and binary logistic regressions. ADHD and ODD CBCL/11/2-5-DSM5 scales achieved good discriminative ability to identify ADHD and ODD interview’s diagnoses, at any age. CBCL/11/2-5-DSM5 Anxiety scale discriminative capacity was fair for unspecific anxiety disorders in all age groups. CBCL/11/2-5-DSM5 depressive problems’ scale showed the poorest discriminative capacity for mood disorders (including depressive episode with insufficient symptoms), oscillating into the poor-to-fair range. As a whole, DSM5-oriented scales generally did not provide evidence better for discriminative capacity than syndrome scales in identifying DSM5 diagnoses. CBCL/11/2-5-DSM5 scales discriminate externalizing disorders better than internalizing disorders for ages 3-5. Scores on the ADHD and ODD CBCL/11/2-5-DSM5 scales can be used to screen for DSM5 ADHD and ODD disorders in general populations of preschool children.