Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Self Assessment) (SDQ)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) self assessment screens for positive and negative psychological attributes.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Ages 11 to 16

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration


Number of items


Item format

Three-point Likert-type scale

Administration time
Available languages

Over 30 languages

Fee for use Free and publicly available
Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

An overall difficulties score is available.

Subscore reporting

There are five subscores:

  • Emotional symptoms
  • Conduct problems
  • Hyperactivity/inattention
  • Peer relationship problems
  • Prosocial behavior
Scoring procedures

Scoring can be done by website or by hand, though assessment developers do not recommend scoring by hand.

Interpretive information

No information is available in the references reviewed.

Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected

Evidence is based on a sample of over 10,000 British five to 15-year-olds, including parents, teachers, and self reports.

Reliability evidence

Inter-rater reliabilities were calculated for parent-teacher, parent-student, and teacher-student version of the forms. Spearman Inter-rater correlations ranged from 0.23 to 0.48 (Goodman, 2001). Internal consistency estimates range from 0.41 to 0.81. Test-retest reliabilities (with a four-to-six month interval) range from 0.21 to 0.62.

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
No information available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on response processes
No information available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Exploratory factor analysis was used to find evidence for five distinct scales.
Evidence based on relations with other variables
High SDQ scores (in the extreme 10% of the population) were associated with a substantial increase in psychiatric risk, with odds ratios of around six for self-report SDQ scales (Goodman, 2001).
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

No information is available in the references reviewed.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.