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CBCL/1.5-5 - Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1.5-5

The CBCL/1.5-5 obtains caregivers' ratings of 99 problem items.

Items are scored on the following syndrome scales: Emotionally Reactive, Anxious/Depressed, Somatic Complaints, Withdrawn, Attention Problems, Aggressive Behavior, and Sleep Problems. Items are also scored on the following DSM-oriented scales: Affective Problems, Anxiety Problems, Pervasive Developmental Problems, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Problems, Stress Problems, Autism Spectrum Problems, and Oppositional Defiant Problems.

The measure also includes open-ended questions to obtain additional qualitative information. Problem-related questions allow the respondent to write in additional problems that were not listed in the 99 items and to further describe problems, physical and mental disabilities, and primary concerns about the child. The strengths-based question allows the respondent to describe the best things about the child.

The CBCL is to be completed by the parent/caretaker who spends the most time with the child.




Achenbach, Thomas, M., Rescorla, Leslie, A.

Achenbach, T.M., & Rescorla, L.A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms & Profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.

Contact Information: 

Company Name: Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA)

ASEBA, 1 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401-3456 Tex: (802) 264-6432 Fax: (802) 264-6433



Cost Involved
Domain Assessed: 
Anxiety/Mood (Internalizing Symptoms)
Externalizing Symptoms
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
General Assessment
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
99 (plus open ended questions)
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
Every 6 months, see manual for more information on periodicity
Response Format: 

Parents are asked to rate their child for how true each item is now or within the past 6 months using the following scale:

0=not true (as far as you know)

1=somewhat or sometimes true

2=very true or often true of the child (based on the preceding two months)

Sample Items: 
DomainsScaleSample Items
Information Provided: 
Clinician Friendly Output
Other Information Provided: 

The CBCL 1.5-5 can be used for: Identifying behaviors/problems interfering with client's functioning, measuring initial behavior severity, tracking changes in emotional, acting out or behavior problems over the course of treatment, and treatment planning. The Language Development Survey (for ages 18-35 months) is also included when you purchase the CBCL 1.5-5.


Training to Administer: 
Training by Experienced Clinician (4+ hours)
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation
Training to Interpret: 
Training by Experienced Clinician (4+ hours)
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Parallel Forms: 
Different Age Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 

Alternative Form: The Caregiver-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) obtains ratings from daycare providers and teachers.

Forms for Different Ages: The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Teacher Report Form (TRF) have also been normed for children ages 6-18, and the Youth Self-Report is normed for children ages 11-18.


Age Groups
Notes on Psychometric Norms: 

Scales are based upon ratings of 1,728 children and they are normed on a national (U.S.) sample of 700 children.

Notes for Multicultural Norms for Ages 1.5-5:

Based on over 27,000 CBCLs and C-TRFs from 24 societies, the ADM Module for Ages 1.5-5 with Multicultural Options scores problem scales with norms for societies that have relatively low problem scores (Group 1 societies), intermediate scores (Group 2), or high scores (Group 3). Select societies by name or select Group 1, 2, or 3 norms for profiles of syndrome, DSM-oriented, Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems scales.

Cross-Informant AgreementPearson0.61
Parallel/Alternate Forms
References for Reliability: 

Extensive research on the psychometrics of the CBCL/1.5-5 has been conducted by the developers.

For more detailed information on this research, refer to the CBCL/1.5-5 manual. Click here (638) to view the chapter on reliability and validity from the CBCL/1.5-5 website.

Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA preschool forms & profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.

Construct Validity Evaluated: 
Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to ChangeYesYesYes
Intervention EffectsYesYesYes
Longitudinal/Maturation EffectsYesYesYes
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYesYesYes
Factorial ValidityYesYesYes
References for Construct Validity: 

Ha, E.H., Kim, S.Y., Song, D.H., Kwak, E.H., & Eom S.Y. (2011). Discriminant Validity of the CBLC 1.5-5 in Diagnosis of Developmental Delayed Infants. J Korean Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 22(2): 120-127.

Ivanova, M. Y., Achenbach, T. M., Rescorla, L. A., Harder, V. S., Ang, R. P., Bilenberg, N., … Verhulst, F. C. (2010). Preschool psychopathology reported by parents in 23 societies: Testing the seven syndrome model of the Child Behavior Checklist for ages 1.5-5. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(12), 1215-1224.

Pandolfi, V., Magyar, C. I., & Dill, C. A. (2009). Confirmatory factor analysis of the Child Behavior Checklist 1.5-5 in a sample of children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders, 39, 986-995.

Tan, T. X., Dedrick, R. F., & Marfo, K. (2006). Factor structure and clinical implications of Child Behavior Checklist/1.5–5 ratings in a sample of girls adopted from China. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32(7), 807-818.

Criterion Validity Evaluated: 
Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:YesYesYes
Postdictive Validity: YesYesYes
References for Criterion Validity: 

Muratori, F., Narzisi, A., Tancredi, R., Cosenza, A., Calugi, S., Saviozzi, I., Santocchi, E., & Calderoni. S. (2011). The CBCl 1.5-5 and the identification of preschools with autism in Italy. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci., 20(4), 329-338.

Sensitivity Rate Score: 
Specificity Rate Score: 
Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

Psychometrics for this study are very good.


Translation Quality: 
Language: TranslatedBack TranslatedReliableGood PsychometricsSimilar Factor StructureNorms AvailableMeasure Developed For This Group
1. ChineseYesYesYesYes
2. SpanishYesYesYesYes

Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

The 1981 sample data used to develop the measure consisted of 20 social competence items and 118 behavior problems. The parents of 1,300 referred children completed the CBCL at intake into outpatient mental health services. Parents of 1,300 randomly selected nonreferred children completed the CBCL in a home interview survey.

For Specific Population: 
Military and Veteran Families
Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Domestic Violence

Pros & Cons/References


1) Well researched and widely used.

"...the CBCL has high utility due to its rapid coverage of a wide range of problems in various settings, the inclusion of scales to assess adaptive functioning, recently published cross-cultural normative data, and its extensive use in the research literature. (Dulcan, 2010)

2) Newly revised measure.

3) DSM-V oriented scores are provided to aid in diagnostic utility.

"Parents were interviewed to assess DSM-IV Conduct Disorder...criteria. Results revealed 2 subfactors of DSM-IV CD symptoms, made up of overt behaviors (e.g. initiating physical fights) and covert behaviors (e.g., stealing without confrontation). Ordinary least squares regressions showed the 2 CD subfactors to be significantly and uniquely predicted by the Child Behavior Checklist...labeled Aggressive Behavior and Delinquent Behavior, respectively." (Tackett et al, 2003)

In a study involving 370 children examining the "diagnostic accuracy of the CBCL syndrome AS scales for predicting DSM-IV Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder with or without Conduct Disorder (ODD/CD)", the "Attention Problems syndrom significantly predicted ADHD, and ODD/CD was significantly predicted by the Aggressive Behavior Syndrom. Both scales demonstrated good diagnostic accuracy, as assessed through receiver operating characteristics analyses. Cut-point analyses confirmed the utility of low T-scores, 55 on the respective syndromes, for efficiently discriminating cases from noncases". The authors concluded that the "CBCL syndrome display good diagnostic efficiency for assessing concerning externalizing disorders in children. (Hudziak et al, 2004)

4) Provides information on strengths of the child.

5) Relatively inexpensive to administer and score.

6) Computer-generated reports are available with clinician-friendly feedback.

7) Parallel forms for daycare providers and teachers are available.

8) The form encourages respondents to include detailed information about their child. For example, several items ask for specific examples of behavior and open-ended questions are included.

9) The CBCL 1.5-5 is one of the few measures for early childhood which is included in a system of assessments for children through age 18. This allows for consistency in outcome measurement.

10) "Several problem behavior items in the CBCL system include blanks for respondents to provide specific examples. When interpreting scores, it is important to ensure that the respondent has accurately understood the items..." (Dulcan, 2010)


1) "...labels for the CBCL subscales may be misleading. For example, the Aggressive Behavior subscale describes oppositional and defiant behaviors, woth few items describing agression. Scores on the Thought Problems subscale can be affected by various cognitive problems, and scores are not equivalent to a thought disorder. Such problems underscore the need to review a scale's items to ascertain what they really measure." (Dulcan, 2010)

2)"As judged against a semistructured interview, the SDQ was significantly better than the CBCL at detecting inattention and hyperactivity, and at least as good at detecting internalizing and externalizing problems..." (Goodman & Scott, 1998)

3)"...results indicated that the CBCL subscales alone were not adequate screening tools. Specifically, there were numerous amounts of false negatives based on the subscale scores; meaning that many children who were diagnosed witha disorder were shown to have no diagnosis when based solely on the scores of the CBCL..." (Rishel et al., 2005 as cited in Souza, 2008)

4) Length of measure


Aebi, M., Metzke, C., & Steinhausen, H. (2010). Accuracy of the DSM-oriented Attention Problem Scale of the Child Behavior Checklist in diagnosing Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Attention Disorders, 13 (5). 454-463. Retrieved from:

Dulcan, M. (2010). Dulcan's textbook of child and adolescent psychiatry. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. Retrieved from:

Goodman, R. & Scott, S. (1998). Comparing the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist: Is small beautiful? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27 (1), 17-24. Retrieved from:

Hudziak, J., Copeland, W., Stanger, & Wadsworth, M. (2004). Screening for DSM-IV externalizing disorders with the Child Behavior Checklist: A reciever-operating characteristic analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45 (7), 1299-1307. Retrieved from:

Ivanova, M., Achenbach, T., Dumenci, L., Rescorla, L., Almqvist, F., Weintraub, S., & Verhulst, F. (2007). Testing the 8-syndrom structure of the Child Behavior Checklist in 30 societies. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 36 (3), 405-415. Retrieved from:

Last Updated: 
Friday, September 19, 2014