Australian data and psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

David J. Hawes, Mark R. Dadds*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

399 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We examine the Australian psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SQD), a brief screening measure of behavioural and emotional problems in children and adolescents. Method: Using a large community sample (n = 1359) of young Australian children (4-9 years), we assessed the internal consistency, stability, and external validity of the parent-report SDQ. Normative data and cut-offs were also produced. Results: Moderate to strong internal reliability was exhibited across all SDQ subscales, and support was found for the original five-factor structure of the measure. Adequate validity was evidenced in the relationship of these scales to one another, while correlations between the SDQ subscales, teacher ratings, and diagnostic interviews demonstrated sound external validity. SDQ total difficulties scores were associated with concurrent treatment status and scores over a 12-month period were stable. Conclusions: The current study of the SDQ with Australian children presents evidence of sound psychometric properties. Being the first study to empirically support the use of the SDQ in Australia, it is recommended that the youth and teacher-report forms of the measure receive similar attention in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-651
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity
  • Child behaviour
  • Child behaviour disorders
  • Clinical psychology
  • Psychometrics


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