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The strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ)

The strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) is a short behavioural screening questionnaire for children aged 3 to 16.

The questionnaire is used to assess children’s mental health, and can be completed by children and young people themselves, by their parents or by their teachers.

It can be used for various purposes, including clinical assessment, evaluation of outcomes, research and screening.

Using the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ)

There are currently three versions of the SDQ:

  • a short form, which you can download on this page
  • a longer form with an impact supplement (which assesses the impact of difficulties on the child’s life)
  • a follow-up form.

You can access all versions of the SDQ on the Youthinmind website, where you can also find useful information on how to use the SDQ.

How it works

The 25 personality attributes in the SDQ are made up of 5 scales of 5 items each. The scales are:

  1. Emotional symptoms 
  2. Conduct problems 
  3. Hyperactivity/inattention 
  4. Peer relationship problems 
  5. Prosocial behaviour 

The SDQ can be used for various purposes, including clinical assessment, evaluation of outcomes, research and screening.

Find out more on the Youthinmind website.

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