The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is one of the most widely used measures in child and adolescent mental health in clinical practice, community-based screening and research. Assessing the readability of such questionnaires is important as young people may not comprehend items above their reading ability when self-reporting. Analyses of readability in the present study indicate that the self-report SDQ might not be suitable for young people with a reading age below 13–14 years and highlight differences in readability between subscales. The findings suggest a need for caution in using the SDQ as a self-report measure for children below the age of 13, and highlight considerations of readability in measure development, selection and interpretation.
Declaration of interest