The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a widely used 25-item screening test for emotional and behavioral problems in children and adolescents. This study attempted to critically examine the factor structure of the adolescent self-report version. As part of an ongoing longitudinal cohort study, a total of 3,753 pupils completed the SDQ when aged 12. Both three- and five-factor exploratory factor analysis models were estimated. A number of deviations from the hypothesized SDQ structure were observed, including a lack of unidimensionality within particular subscales, cross-loadings, and items failing to load on any factor. Model fit of the confirmatory factor analysis model was modest, providing limited support for the hypothesized five-component structure. The analyses suggested a number of weaknesses within the component structure of the self-report SDQ, particularly in relation to the reverse-coded items.
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