Journal of Child and Adolescent Health

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Research Article - Journal of Child and Adolescent Health (2018) Volume 2, Issue 2

Describing psychological and behavioural problems in Omani young people: Reliability of the self-reported Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in Oman.

Aim: The aim of this study is to further assess the reliability of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) when completed by school-age children in Oman. The SDQ is an essential tool for screening psychological and behavioural problems in school children but has only been psychometrically tested once in Omani culture without checking the reliability of the impact subscale.

Method: A cross sectional study. Children aged 11-16 from one private and four public schools in two areas of Oman (Muscat; Buraimi) completed the SDQ. Cronbachs alpha and person-product correlations were used to assess internal, and test-re-rest reliability.

Results: 377/422 children completed the SDQ, 138 completed the re-test. The Total Difficulties (T-SDQ) score was normally distributed with 78% scoring normal, 13% borderline and 9% clinical significant scores. Girls’ scores were significantly higher than boys in T-SDQ and in emotional and prosocial subscales. Internal reliability for the T-SDQ was (Cronbach alpha=0.72; Person Product-moment coefficient r=0.71; p<0.001), the impact subscale=0.68 and varied between 0.26 and 0.60 for the other subscales.

Conclusion: The self-reported SDQ using T-SDQ score is a reliable screening tool for psychological and behavioural problems for Omani children. The T-SDQ can be disseminated within private and public-school systems. Having a reliable screening tool for identifying children with psychological and behavioural problems is a significant step to improving mental health pathways of care and outcomes in Oman.

Author(s): Al-Mukhaini ZA, Bekker HL, Cottrell D

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