Children's Behavior Questionnaire Short Form (CBQ-SF)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The CBQ-SF uses caregiver reports to provide a detailed profile of young childrens' temperament. The CBQ-SF was designed to measure the same domains as the CBQ with fewer items. It was designed to be used for research purposes.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Ages 3-7

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration

Parent or other caregiver

Method of administration


Number of items


Item format

Seven-point Likert-type scale

Administration time

No information is available in the references reviewed.

Available languages

Over 20 languages, including English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, German, and Hebrew

Fee for use Free and publicly available
Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

No overall scores are reported.

Subscore reporting

15 subscores are reported:

  • Positive anticipation
  • High-intensity pleasure
  • Smiling/Laughter
  • Activity level
  • Impulsivity
  • Shyness
  • Discomfort
  • Fear
  • Anger/Frustration
  • Sadness
  • Soothability
  • Inhibitory control
  • Approach
  • Attentional focusing
  • Low-intensity pleasure
  • Perceptual sensitivity
Scoring procedures

Scoring information is available upon request from the developer.

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 three different samples of children ages 3-8 from across the United States (Virginia, New York, and Washington) (Putnam et al., 2006).

Reliability evidence

Alpha coefficients (internal consistency) ranged from 0.43 to 0.87 for the 15 subscales. When reliabilities were estimated separately by race and socioeconomic status, there was some evidence that scales may be less reliable when used with African American or high-poverty samples (Putnam et al., 2006).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Items adapted from previously existing questionnaires, including the Infant Behavior Questionnaire (Rothbart, 1981) and the Physiological Reactions Questionnaire (Derryberry & Rothbart, 1988).
Evidence based on response processes
A small group of parents (N=15) completed questionnaires out loud, commenting on any items that were problematic and suggesting item revisions (Putnam et al., 2006).
Evidence based on internal structure
Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to substantiate the subscales (Putnam et al., 2006).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

Putnam, S. P., & Rothbart, M. K. "Development of Short and Very Short forms of the Children's Behavior Questionnaire," Journal of Personality Assessment, Vol. 87, No. 1, 2006, pp. 103–113.


Individuals interested in using the instruments must complete an online request form.

Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.