Objective As part of an extended, multicultural study, our purpose was to evaluate and establish national norms for the country of Cyprus for the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ). It is an instrument for assessing the positive and negative attributes of child and adolescent behaviour with relevance to developmental disorders, clinical and psychosocial problems.
Methods We collected 560 parent-completed SDQ, used for the first time in Cyprus, for children aged 4–13 years from all cities, and being a multicultural country, we used the Greek, English (UK) and Russian versions. Multicultural differences, if any, are also the focus of the larger study.
Results Total difficulties in boys (8.88, SD 5.294) were higher than in girls (7.90, SD 4.649) and 6.7% were in the abnormal range. Notable was also the difference in hyperactivity/inattention, with boys (3.39, SD 1.647) higher than girls (1.68, SD 1.521) but only 5.5% generally in the abnormal range. However, 12.6% were reported to be abnormal at the emotional symptoms subscale, together with a high 13.3% for the peer relationship problems subscale and 11.4% for the conduct problems subscale. The prosocial behaviour subscale was only 3.8%, surprisingly low, in comparison with international standards. Mean and standard deviations are shown in the table.
Conclusion SDQ is a useful instrument for screening developmental disorders in children and adolescents and can be used in multicultural settings and also provides data for international comparisons.