The structure and use of the teacher and parent Maltese Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire
Special aspects of education
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AbstractThe Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) (Goodman, 1997) is one of the most commonly used measures of mental health in children and young people and has been translated into more than forty languages. This paper discusses the translation of the SDQ in Maltese and explores the structure and use of the teacher and parent Maltese translations. 4797 school teachers and 2865 parents completed the Maltese teacher and parent SDQ respectively. The results indicate that the Maltese SDQ, particularly the teacher version, meets the basic psychometric properties which make it a useful index of social, emotional and behaviour difficulties and prosocial behaviour amongst Maltese children and young people. Exploratory factor analysis suggests that the Maltese version clearly discriminates between difficulty and prosocial behaviour, and that it may be closer in fit to a three factor model, namely internalized difficulties, externalized difficulties and prosocial behaviour. While there are a number of variations, which may be explained by the local educational and socio-cultural context, Maltese mean scores are quite comparable with international SDQ norms. In view of a number of limitations, however, the use of the Maltese SDQ needs to be used with caution and further research into its psychometric properties is suggested.