Journal Articles


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Objectives: To describe the development and psychometric properties of the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study Emotional Behavioural Scales (OCHS-EBS) for dimensional measurement of 7 disorders based on criteria from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Methods: Scale items were selected by agreement among 19 child psychologists and psychiatrists rating the correspondence between item descriptions and DSM-5 symptoms. Psychometric evaluation of the item properties and parent/caregiver and youth scales came from a general population study of 10,802 children and youth aged 4 to 17 years in 6537 families. Test-retest reliability data were collected from a subsample of 280 children and their caregivers who independently completed the OCHS-EBS checklist on 2 occasions 7 to 14 days apart. Structural equation modelling was used to assess internal and external convergent and discriminant validity—the latter tested against the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents (MINI-KID).

Results: Confirmatory factor analyses exhibited adequate item fit to all scales. Except for conduct disorder and youth-assessed separation anxiety disorder, internal (Cronbach’s α) and test-retest reliability (Pearson’s r) for scale scores were 0.70 or above. Except for youth-assessed conduct disorder, the OCHS-EBS met criteria for internal and convergent and discriminant validity. Compared with the MINI-KID, the OCHS-EBS met criteria for external convergent and discriminant validity.

Conclusions: The OCHS-EBS provide reliable and valid dimensional measurement of 7 DSM-5 disorders assessed by caregivers and youth in the general population. Part II describes use of the OCHS-EBS as a categorical (present/absent) measure of disorder.



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Objectives: To compare the reliability and convergent validity of parent assessments from the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents (MINI-KID—a structured diagnostic interview) and the Ontario Child Health Study Emotional Behavioural Scales (OCHS-EBS) symptom checklist for classifying conduct disorder (CD), conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder (CD-ODD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and separation anxiety disorder (SAD) based on DSM-5 criteria.

Methods: Data came from 283 parent-youth dyads aged 9 to 18 years. Parents and youth completed the assessments separately on 2 different occasions 7 to 14 days apart. After converting the OCHS-EBS scale scores to binary disorder classifications, we compare test-retest reliability estimates and use structural equation modelling (SEM) to compare estimates of convergent validity for the same disorders assessed by each instrument.

Results: Average test-retest reliabilities based on κ were 0.71 (MINI-KID) and 0.67 (OCHS-EBS). The average β coefficients for 3 latent measures comprising the following indicators—parent perceptions of youth mental health need and impairment, diagnosis of specific disorders based on health professional communications and youth taking prescribed medication, and youth classifications of disorder based on the MINI-KID—were 0.67 (MINI-KID) and 0.69 (OCHS-EBS).

Conclusion: The OCHS-EBS and MINI-KID achieve comparable levels of reliability and convergent validity for classifying child psychiatric disorder. The flexibility, low cost, and minimal respondent burden of checklists for classifying disorder make them well suited for studying disorder in the general population and screening in clinical settings.

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