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WBR - Weekly Behavior Report

The WBR was developed to assess common problem behaviors experienced by sexually abused children. It allows for assessment of the types of behavior problems endorsed and number of discrete episodes.

The 21-item Parent-Report Checklist includes items assessing symptoms such as sleep problems, separation anxiety, aggressive behaviors, and sexual behaviors.




Cohen, Judith A., M.D., & Mannarino, Anthony P., Ph.D.

Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (1996a). The Weekly Behavior Report: A parent-report instrument for sexually abused preschoolers. Child Maltreatment, 1(4), 353-360.

Contact Information: 

The measure is reproduced in Appendix A of Cohen & Mannarino (1996).

Domain Assessed: 
Traumatic Stress
Anxiety/Mood (Internalizing Symptoms)
Measure Type: 
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
past week
Response Format: 

Each item is followed by 7 boxes, representing the 7 days of the week. Reporters check whether the behavior occurred for each day of the wee

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainsScaleSample Items
Type of behaviors Took more than 10 minutes to fall asleep at bedtime
Total number of episodesExposed private parts to others.
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Clinician Friendly Output
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Interpret: 
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel or Alternate Forms

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


Clinical Cutoffs: 
Internal ConsistencyAcceptable0.760.80.78
References for Reliability: 

TTEST-RETEST A 2-week test-retest reliability was computed with a community sample (Cohen & Mannarino, 1996a) and was .81 for Types of Behavior and .88 for Total Number of Behaviors. INTERNAL CONSISTENCY Sexually abused group (.80) and Community comparison group (.76) (Cohen & Mannarino, 1996a).

Content Validity Evaluated: 
References for Content Validity: 

Items represent problem behaviors associated with sexual abuse and "were selected based on the empirical data regarding sexually-abused preschooler symptomatology, the clinical literature, and the investigator’s clinical experience," and consultation with an expert in the area of sexualized behavior (Cohen & Mannarino, 1996a).

Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Intervention EffectsYesYes
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYesYesYes
References for Construct Validity: 

WBR Types and Total scores differentiate between sexually abused and community samples (Cohen & Mannarino, 1996a). Analyses of individual items suggest that parents of sexually abused children endorsed the majority of items significantly more frequently than community parents. For both sexually abused and community samples, WBR Type and Total scores correlated moderately with Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Behavior Problems of the CBCL (Cohen & Mannarino, 1996a).

In a sample of children with sexual behavior problems, (Silovsky & Niec, 2002), report that mean scores for type and frequency were similar to those found by Cohen & Mannarino (1996a) for a sexually abused group, with scores being higher than those reported for community children.

Results from a randomized trial show that WBR scores decreased significantly for both the treatment and comparison group, with repeated measures analyses

showing a strong trend for a group x time effect (Cohen & Mannarino, 1996b). At 1-year follow-up there was a significant group x time effect, supporting the measure’s ability to detect change due to treatment (Cohen & Mannarino, 1997).

Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

1. Psychometrics are promising but limited.
2. More research is needed to determine whether WBR scores differentiate between sexually abused children and other clinical populations.
3. While studies have included significant percentages of African American and White children, more research is needed examining the reliability and validity of the measure with other ethnic groups (e.g., Latinos and Asians).
4. Additional testing of the psychometrics is being conducted by the authors and colleagues.



Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

From Cohen & Mannarino (1996a):
Psychometrics were examined with 66 sexually abused and 56 community preschool children. Inclusionary criteria for the sexual abuse group included that the abuse had occurred within 6 months of entry into the study, a report had been filed with CPS, and some validation of the report had happened. Exclusionary criteria for the sexual abuse group included psychotic symptoms, serious medical illness, and active substance abuse or psychotic symptoms in the participating parent.

Exclusionary criteria for both groups included mental retardation or a pervasive developmental disorder, but no children were excluded for these reasons. Sexually abused children aged 2.11-7.1 (M=4.7); 58% female, 42% male; 54% White, 42% African American, and 4% Other. Mean SES was Hollingshead IV. They were recruited as part of a larger treatment outcome study. The community sample aged 3-7 (M=4.2); 52% female, 48% male; 75% White, 10% African American, and 15% Other. SES data were not available. The comparison group was significantly younger than the sexually abused group.

Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Sexual Abuse
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
Sexually abused chidlren YesYesYesYesYes

Pros & Cons/References


1. Measure is short, written in simple language, and easy to complete.
2. Allows for prospective tracking of behavior problems that are frequent in sexually abused children.
3. Measure tracks important behaviors (e.g., sleep problems, separation anxiety, aggressive behaviors, and sexual behaviors) that would be important targets of treatment and would be important and relevant to caregivers.
4. Psychometrics are promising, including the ability to detect changes resulting from treatment.
5. Measure is free.


1. Measure is psychometrically young. More research is needed to establish its validity and utility.
2. No norms or clinical cutoffs are available, which would facilitate interpretation of scores.
3. Measure is not yet available in other languages.
4. While studies have included significant percentages of African American and White children, more research is needed examining the reliability and validity of the measure with other ethnic groups (e.g., Latinos and Asians).

Author Comments: 

The authors provided feedback, which was integrated. In addition, they let us know that additional testing of the psychometrics is being conducted by the authors and colleagues.


A PsychInfo literature search (6/05) for “Weekly Behavior Report” or “WBI” anywhere revealed that the measure has been referenced in 6 peer-reviewed journal articles. Three additional articles were found during the course of conducting the review.

1. Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (1998). Factors that mediate treatment outcome of sexually abused preschool children: Six- and 12-month follow-up. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(1), 44-51.

2. Cohen, J.A., & Mannarino, A.P. (1997). A treatment study for sexually abused preschool children: Outcome during a one-year follow-up.

3. Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (1996b). A treatment outcome study for sexually abused preschool children: Initial findings. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 35(1), 42-50.

4. Cohen J.A., & Mannarino A.P. (1993)., A treatment model for sexually abused preschoolers. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 8, 115-131.

5. King, N. J., Heyne, D., Tonge, B. J., Mullen, P., Myerson, N., Rollings, S., et al. (2003). Sexually abused children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder: Assessment and treatment strategies. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 32(1), 2-12.

6. King, N. J., Tonge, B. J., Mullen, P., Myerson, N., Heyne, D., & Ollendick, T. H. (1999). Cognitive-behavioural treatment of sexually abused children: A review of research. Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy, 27(4), 295-309.

7. Silovsky, J. F., & Niec, L. (2002). Characteristics of young children with sexual behavior problems: A pilot study. Child Maltreatment: Journal of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 7(3), 187-197.

8. Strand, V. C., Sarmiento, T. L., & Pasquale, L. E. (2005). Assessment and screening tools for trauma in children and adolescents: A review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 6(1), 55-78.

Developer of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chanrda Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Thursday, March 27, 2014