Children's Behavior Questionnaire Very Short Form (CBQ-VSF)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The CBQ-VSF uses caregiver reports to provide a detailed profile of young children's temperament. The CBQ-VSF was designed to measure three broad domains (rather than the 15 specific domains measured by the CBQ). 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

English, Chinese, Dutch, French (Quebec), Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Urdu

Fee for use Free and publicly available
Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

No overall scores are reported.

Subscore reporting

Three subscores are reported:

  • Surgency
  • Negative affect
  • Effortful control
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 0.62 to 0.78 for the three subscales (Putnam et al., 2006).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Items are 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
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.