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The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and standardized academic tests: Reliability across respondent type and age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Jul 2019
DatePublished (current) - 25 Jul 2019


Exploiting nation-wide data from the Danish National Birth Cohort, we show that children’s emotional and behavioral problems measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) are closely related to their performance in standardized academic tests for reading and mathematics in sixth grade. The relationship is remarkably linear across the entire distribution for both the total difficulties score and subscale scores of the SDQ; higher scores on the SDQ (more problems) are related to worse performance in academic tests. We assess the similarity across respondent type; parent (child age 7 and 11), teacher (child age 11) and self-reported scores (child age 11), and find that teacher and parent reported scores have very similar slopes in the SDQ–test score relationship, while the child reported SDQ in relation to the academic test performance has a flatter slope.

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  • ECON Applied Economics

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