Medina, Cristina; Navarro, J. Blas; Martinena, Patricia; Baños, Iris; Vicens-Vilanova, Jordi; Barrantes-Vidal, Neus; Subirá, Susana; Obiols, Jordi E.
September 2007
Salud Mental;sep2007, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p33
Academic Journal
Introduction Behavioural problems in adolescents are thought to be relevant as strong predictors for the detection of other psychological disorders. For this reason and due to the importance they present by themselves, carrying out an adequate assessment of them is fundamental. Mental health professionals have diverse opinions about the value and importance of the different informants. The majority choose of their sources according to the disorder and necessities of each evaluator. On the other hand, the need to obtain data about adolescents' functioning from multiple resources has been emphasised and numerous reasons have been exposed. Concretely, the fact of carrying out the most objective and complete evaluations as possible has been considered essential in those studies aimed at evaluating behavioural alteration in adolescents. For this reason, Achenbach developed three versions of his scale: one for the parents, another for the teachers and a third one for the adolescents themselves. Numerous investigations have studied the concordance between groups of informants about different behavioural alterations in adolescents, but none have carried out a complete analysis of all informants in all subscales (not only the total ones). For this reason, the current study has been developed with the aim of contributing to obtain an enriching vision for the professional in the field. Objectives a) To systematically explore agreement patterns between adolescents, teachers and parents who inform of behavioural problems in adolescents in the general population and b) in those cases in which no agreement is found, to analyse the level of disagreement between each pair of informants for each subscale. Methodology Cross-sectional and descriptive study. Participants. The study was formed by 160 triads of parents, teachers and 13-16 year old adolescents selected from several schools in Barcelona. Instruments. The three forms of the Achenbach scale to measure behavioural alterations were applied. The scale was translated into Spanish by the Unit of Epidemiology and Diagnostic in Psychopathology of the Development of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona: Youth Self-Report, self-evaluated, Child Behaviour Checklist/4-18 and Teacher's Report Form, both heteroevaluated and completed by parents and teachers, respectively. These three forms contain a 89-item set that evaluates the same behaviour, where eight items are organised in scales of syndromes derived empirically and which are invariant throughout informants. The eight subscales are: withdrawn, somatic complaints, anxious/depressed, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent behaviour and aggressive behaviour. Some of them are grouped in second order factors: the first three in internalising, the last two in externalising, and the rest of them provide a total problems punctuation. Statistical procedure. Agreement values were analysed for each pair of informants and each subscale through the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). A value below 0.40 indicates low concordance. In these cases, the statistical analysis proceeds with the discordance analysis by pairs of informants and for each subscale through the Bland Altman Method. Results A low concordance (below 0.40) between informants was found especially in internalizing scales (0.230). A slightly higher value was found in attention (0.334), aggressive behaviour (0.371), externalizing (0.357), and total subscales (0.327). Secondly, it was observed that, when informing about somatic complains, thought and attention problems, internalising items and the total scale, parents reported more alterations, followed by adolescents and teachers. Also, parents indicated more withdrawal problems in adolescents, although in this case they were followed by teachers and adolescents themselves.…


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