Cautions in using the child behavior checklist: Observations based on research about children with a chronic illness

Ellen C. Perrin, Ruth E.K. Stein, Dennis Drotar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

212 Scopus citations


The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the related instruments, the Teacher's Report Form (TRF) and Youth Self-Report (YSR), are frequently used in research assessing the behavioral adjustment of children. This paper describes some issues relevant to children with a chronic physical illness that should be considered when using these instruments. Salient problems include (a) possible bias in interpreting data concerning physical symptoms; (b) limited sensitivity to identify mild adjustment problems of the sort most often encountered in children with chronic physical illnesses; and (c) incomplete and potentially misleading assessment of social competence. When using these instruments investigators should also be aware of several general methodologic issues before collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data regarding children with chronic illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-421
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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