Volume 22, Issue 2 (1993)
The Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 and Related materials: Reliability and Validity of Syndromal Assessment
Gregg M. MacMann, David W. Barnett, Eric J. Lopez
The advances in syndromal assessment described by McConaughy (this issue) are analyzed with respect to two related themes: (a) what can be said with confidence and (b) what can be said that might be helpful. There are many uncertainties associated with the prototype-matching process, including alternative methods for the representation of syndromes (e.g., multi-trait scaling analysis) and problems with the integration of information from multiple sources (e.g., parent x teacher agreement). The “empirical puzzles” that result present many challenges for professional judgment and little reassurance regarding the reliability of the process. Beyond the measurement difficulties, errors that stem from the child-centered focus of syndromal assessment may be more significant. Although the consideration of empirically-based syndromes can contribute to the assessment-intervention process, alternative strategies for the assessment and conceptualization of problem situations may afford more direct links to the intervention-relevant issues.
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