Authors: Lehmann S, Bøe T, Breivik K
PLoS One. 2017;12(6):e0176625
Mental health problems are common in foster-children, and tools to measure the mental health of these children are needed. One candidate instrument is the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a measure of child psychological adjustment that is increasingly being employed by Child Protection services. The aim of the current study was to examine the structural validity of the foster parent completed SDQ in a sample of 237 school aged foster children. Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated an excellent fit of the foster parent completed SDQ data to a five-factor model (CFI = 0.96, RMSEA = 0.05, 90% CI [0.04, 0.06]), thus confirming the structural validity of the five-factor model for the parent-version of the SDQ in Norwegian foster children. Measurement invariance analyses indicated that boys had lower thresholds for fighting with or bullying other children than girls. Girls were on their side more likely to be rated as less popular than boys with a similar level of peer problems.