Developing and Validating Short Forms of the Parent General Behavior Inventory Mania and Depression Scales for Rating Youth Mood Symptoms

Eric A. Youngstrom, Anna Van Meter, Thomas W. Frazier, Jennifer Kogos Youngstrom, Robert L. Findling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


To develop short forms of parent-rated mania and depression scales, evaluating their reliability, content coverage, criterion validity, and diagnostic accuracy. Caregivers completed the Parent General Behavior Inventory about their youth 5–18 years of age seeking outpatient mental health services at either an academic medical clinic (n = 617) or urban community mental health center (n = 530), along with other rating scales. Families also completed a semistructured Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia interview, with the rating scales masked during diagnosis. Ten-item short forms and projections of their psychometrics (vs. the full-length 46-item Depression and 28-item Hypomanic/Biphasic scales) were built in the academic sample and then externally cross-validated in the community sample. The mania and two depression short forms maintained high reliability (αs > .87 across both samples); high correlations with the full-length scales (rs> .93); excellent convergent and discriminant validity with mood, behavior, and demographic criteria; and diagnostic accuracy undiminished compared to using the full-length scales. Present analyses developed and externally cross-validated 10-item short forms that maintain high reliability and content coverage and show strong criterion validity and diagnostic accuracy—even when used in an independent sample with markedly different demographics and referral patterns. The short forms appear useful in clinical applications, including screening and initial evaluation, as well as in research settings, where they offer an inexpensive quantitative score. Future work should further evaluate sensitivity to treatment effects. The short forms are available in more than a dozen translations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-177
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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