Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Validity of the SCL-90 in a Sample of British Men remanded to Prison for Psychiatric Reports

  • James H. Wilson (a1), Pamela J. Taylor (a2) and Graham Robertson (a3)


The SCL-90 is a self-report inventory of psychopathology, which has not previously been validated in the UK. In the present study, the scale was found to correlate well with other measures of mental state, namely the Present State Examination (PSE) and the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS). The scale was able to distinguish psychotic from non-psychotic patients on its paranoid ideation sub-scale, but not on its psychoticism one, nor any of its seven neurotic sub-scales. It is suggested that in research or population screening studies, this type of questionnaire should be supplemented with information relating to psychiatric history and motivation for treatment.


Corresponding author



Hide All
Åsberg, M., Montgomery, S. A., Perris, C., Schalling, D. & Sedvall, G. (1978) The comprehensive psychopathological rating scale. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplement, 217, 527.
Derogatis, L. R., Lipman, R. S. & Covi, L. (1973) The SCL-90: an outpatient psychiatric rating scale. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 9, 1328.
Derogatis, L. R., & Rickels, K. (1972) Factorial invariance of symptom dimensions in anxious and depressive neuroses. Archives of General Psychiatry, 27, 659665.
Derogatis, L. R., Rickels, K., Uhlenhuth, E. H. & Covi, L. (1974) The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL): a self-report symptom inventory. Behavioural Science, 19, 115.
Derogatis, L. R., Lobo, A., Folstein, M. & Abeloff, M. D. (1981) The SCL-90-R as a psychiatric screening instrument in an oncologic population. Obtainable from Derogatis, L. R., Henry Phipps Clinic, John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
Derogatis, L. R., Rickels, K. & Rock, A. F. (1976) The SCL-90 and the MMPI: a step in the validation of a new self-report scale. British Journal of Psychiatry, 128, 280289.
Feighner, J. P., Robins, E. E., Guze, S. B., Woodruff, R. A., Winokur, G. & Munoz, R. (1972) Diagnostic Criteria for use in Psychiatric Research. Archives of General Psychiatry, 26, 5763.
Goldberg, D. (1972) Detecting psychiatric illness by questionnaire. Maudsley Monograph No. 22. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gunn, J., Robertson, G., Dell, S. & Way, C. (1978) Psychiatric Aspects of Imprisonment. London: Academic Press.
Kass, F., Charles, E., Klein, D. F. & Cohen, P. (1983) Discordance between the SCL-90 and therapists' psychopathological ratings. Archives of General Psychiatry, 40, 389393.
Parloff, M. B., Kelman, H. C. & Frank, J. D. (1954) Comfort, effectiveness and self-awareness as criteria for improvement in psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 343351.
Rickels, K., Garcia, C.-R. & Fisher, E. (1971) A measure of emotional symptom distress in private gynaecological practice. Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 38, 139146.
Taylor, P. & Gunn, J. (1984) Psychosis and Violence I. British Medical Journal, 1, 19451949.
Wing, J. K., Cooper, J. E. & Sartorius, N. (1974) The measurement and classification of psychiatric symptoms. Cambridge-Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

The Validity of the SCL-90 in a Sample of British Men remanded to Prison for Psychiatric Reports

  • James H. Wilson (a1), Pamela J. Taylor (a2) and Graham Robertson (a3)
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *