Psychosocial Functioning

Pediatric Symptom Checklist 17 - Parent

The Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC-17) is a brief screening questionnaire used by pediatricians and other health professionals to recognize psychosocial problems and improve treatment in children. This specific version is to be filled out by parents of the child. It is a brief questionnaire that helps identify and assess changes in emotional and behavioral problems in children. The PSC covers a broad range of emotional and behavioral problems and is meant to provide an assessment of psychosocial functioning.

Total number of questions

17

Administration method

Parent-report

Standardized cadence

Every week

Age range

Parents of children

Language

English

Scoring and interpretation

Answers are scored on a 3-point Likert scale from 0 for "Never," 1 for "Sometimes," and 2 for "Often." Scores are summed and total scores range from 0 to 34. Higher scores are associated with poorer psychosocial functioning. A total score of 15 or higher suggests clinically significant psychosocial issues. In addition, there are three subscales. The Internalizing subscale is made up of questions 5, 6, 9, 10, 11. A score of 5 or more suggests clinically significant issues. The Externalizing subscale is made up of questions 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. A score of 7 or greater suggests clinically significant issues. And the Attention subscale is made up of questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 7. A score of 7 or more suggests clinically significant issues.

Reliability and validity

Test/retest reliability of the PSC ranges from r = .84 - .91. Over time, case/not case classification ranges from 83%-87% and kappa = .84 (Jellinek et al. 1988; Murphy et al. 1992). Studies (Murphy & Jellinek 1988; Murphy et al. 1996) indicate strong internal consistency of the PSC items (Cronbach alpha = .91) and highly significant (p < 0.001) correlations between individual PSC items and positive PSC screening scores.

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