Reliability and validity of brief problem monitor, an abbreviated form of the child behavior checklist

Brian J. Piper, Hilary M. Gray, Jacob Raber, Melissa A. Birkett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Aim: The parent form of the 113-item Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is widely utilized by child psychiatrists and psychologists. This report examines the reliability and validity of a recently developed abbreviated version of the CBCL, the Brief Problem Monitor (BPM).

Methods: Caregivers (n = 567) completed the CBCL online and the 19 BPM items were examined separately.

Results: Internal consistency of the BPM was high (Cronbach's alpha = 0.91) and satisfactory for the Internalizing (0.78), Externalizing (0.86), and Attention (0.87) scales. High correlations between the CBCL and BPM were identified for the total score (r = 0.95) as well as the Internalizing (0.86), Externalizing (0.93), and Attention (0.97) scales. The BPM and scales were sensitive and identified significantly higher behavioral and emotional problems among children whose caregiver reported a psychiatric diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, developmental disabilities, or autism spectrum disorders relative to a comparison group that had not been diagnosed with these disorders. BPM ratings also differed by the socioeconomic status and education of the caregiver. Mothers with higher annual incomes rated their children as having 38.8% fewer total problems (Cohen's d = 0.62) as well as 42.8% lower Internalizing (d = 0.53), 44.1% less Externalizing (d = 0.62), and 30.9% decreased Attention (d = 0.39). A similar pattern was evident for maternal education (d = 0.30-0.65).

Conclusion: Overall, these findings provide strong psychometric support for the BPM, although the differences based on the characteristics of the parent indicate that additional information from other sources (e.g., teachers) should be obtained to complement parental reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12188
Pages (from-to)759-767
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Anxiety
  • Children
  • Reliability
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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