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CBCL/6-18 - Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 6-18

The 2001 Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 6-18 (CBCL/6-18) is a standardized measure based on new national norms that were collected February 1999-January 2000. The CBCL is to be completed by the parent/caretaker who spends the most time with the child. The CBCL/6-18 provides ratings for 20 competence and 120 problem items paralleling the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and the Teacher’s Report Form (TRF). The CBCL/6-18 includes open-ended items covering physical problems, concerns, and strengths. Parents rate how true each item is now, or was within the past 6 months, using the same 3- point scale utilized on the YSR and TRF. The CBCL/6-18 yields scores on internalizing, externalizing, and total problems as well as scores on DSM-IV related scales. It is one of the most widely used outcome measures.




Achenbach, Thomas, M.

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


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
6 months. Intervals can be shortened, see manual for instructions.
Response Format: 

1. 3-point Likert-type scale: 0=Not true, 1=Somewhat or Sometimes true, 2=Very true or Often true 2. Fill in the blank.

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
Domain Scale Sample Items
Social Functioning ActivitiesPlease list your child’s favorite hobbies, activities, and games, other than sports.
SocialPlease list any organizations, clubs, teams, or groups your child belongs to.
Mood and Anxiety Symptoms (child) Anxious/DepressedCries a lot.
Withdrawn/DepressedThere is very little he/she enjoys.
Somatic ComplaintsFeels dizzy or lightheaded.
Externalizing Symptoms Rule-Breaking BehaviorDoesn’t seem to feel guilty after misbehaving.
Aggressive BehaviorArgues a lot.
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Clinician Friendly Output
Continuous Assessment
Diagnostic Info DSM IV
Dichotomous Assessment
Graphs (e.g. of elevated scale)
Raw Scores
Standard Scores
Trauma History
Written Feedback From a Computer Program


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

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Parallel Forms: 
Alternate Forms: 
Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 

Youth Self-Report (YSR) and Teacher Report Form (TRF) are related questionnaires used with different informants. The CBCL is available for two age ranges: CBCL 1½-5 and CBCL/6-18.


Age Groups
Notes on Psychometric Norms: 

For the 2001 CBCL/6-18, of 2,181 children initially eligible, 2,029 parents completed the CBCL (93.0%). TRFs & YSRs were administered as well. From this sample, children who did not receive mental health, substance abuse, or major special education services within the previous 12 months were retained. This left a non-referred total sample of 1,753 children from 40 states. Two age groups were constructed (6-11) and (12-18), and genders were separated. The normative sample consisted of the following demographic characteristics: 44% boys and 56% girls; 33% upper-class, 51% middle class, 16% lower class; 60% non-Latino White, 20% African American, 9% Latino, 12% mixed or other; 17% Northeast, 19% Midwest, 40% South, and 23% West. Respondents consisted of 72% mothers, 23% fathers, and 5% other (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001).

Clinical Cutoffs: 
Clinical Cutoffs Description: 

T-Scores: 65-69 (Borderline), 70+ (Clinical), no T-score >100 or <50 are generated for narrow band scales. T scores as low as 26 are generated for Total Problems and as low as 10 for Total Competence.

Test-RetestPearson's r0.80.940.88
Internal ConsistencyCronbach's alpha0.630.970.8
Inter-raterPearson's r0.570.880.73
Parallel/Alternate Forms
References for Reliability: 

1. All reliability was reported for Scale Scores. 2. Inter-Rater: Between parents

References for Content Validity: 

1. Measure Development: Extensive literature searches were conducted. Mental health professionals and educators were consulted, and pilot tests were run in creating this measure. 2. The current CBCL measure has been refined after years of use. Old items that failed to discriminate significantly have been replaced, and slight changes were made in the wording of various items to make them clearer. Currently, all the items discriminate between referred and nonreferred demographically similar children (p<.01). (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001).

Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to ChangeYesYesYes
Intervention EffectsYesYesYes
Longitudinal/Maturation EffectsYesYesYes
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYesYesYes
Factorial ValidityYesYesYes
Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:YesYesYes
Postdictive Validity: YesYesYes
References for Criterion Validity: 

ASEBA does not report positive or negative power because the results are confounded with the cut points and sample characteristics.

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. SpanishYesYesYesYes
2. FrenchYesYesYes
3. TagologYes
4. VietnameseYes
5. ChineseYesYesYes
6. American Sign LanguageYes
7. FarsiYes
8. PolishYes
9. RussianYes
10. UrduYes

Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

The 1983 original sample used to develop the measure consisted of 2,300 children assessed at 42 mental health agencies. The children were 4-16 years of age with diverse problems. The sample included children from diverse ethnic groups, SES levels, and locations.

For Specific Population: 
Military and Veteran Families
Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Domestic Violence
Use with Diverse Populations: 
Population Type: Measure Used with Members of this GroupMembers of this Group Studied in Peer-Reviewed JournalsReliableGood PsychometricsNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. Developmental disabilityYesYes
2. DisabilitiesYesYes
3. Lower socio-economic statusYesYesYesYesYes
4. Rural populationsYesYesYesYesYes
5. Child abuseYesYesYes
6. LatinosYesYesYesYesYes

Pros & Cons/References


1. Well researched and widely used. 2. Newly revised measure. 3. DSM-IV oriented. 4. Provides information on strengths of the child. 5. Inexpensive to administer and score. 6. Computer-generated reports are available with clinician-friendly feedback. 7. Parallel forms are available. 8. A computer utility called “A2S” is available from ASEBA to easily export data to SPSS.


1. Can be a time consuming measure to complete. 2. Potential for self-report bias. 3. No assessment of profile validity. 4. Spanish speakers sometimes report having problems understanding the measure.


The reference for the manual is: 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. Note: Numbers provided are based on the manual and the author. To obtain a full list of references, please see: Bérubé, R. L., & Achenbach, T.M. (2005). Bibliography of published studies using ASEBA instruments: 2005 edition. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families; or contact ASEBA.• A PsychInfo search (5/05) for “Child Behavior Checklist” or “CBCL” AND “6-18” anywhere revealed that the CBCL/6-18 has been referenced in 76 peer-reviewed journal articles. Discrepancy between this number and the number provided by authors may be related to search terms. Searching only for “Child Behavior Checklist” or “CBCL” yields 4,437 peer reviewed journal articles, but this includes earlier versions of the measure. In addition, the measure has been used in many other countries, and articles from those countries may not be available in PsychInfo. 1. Achenbach, T. M., Howell, C., McConaughy, S. H., & Stanger, C. (1995). Six-year predictors of problems in a national sample of children and youth: I. Cross-informant syndromes. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 336-347.

Developer of Review: 
Maiken Thorvaldsen, B.A.
Editor of Review: 
Nicole Taylor, Ph.D., Robyn Igelman, M.A., Madhur Kulkarni, M.S., Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2013