Behavioral Ratings and Checklists
This chapter contains a review of standardized rating and checklist measures focusing on observable behaviors. The emphasis in nearly all of the instruments is on pathological behaviors or states, but there are a few instruments providing for measures of positive competencies and adjustment.
All of the instruments reviewed involve a checklist or rating scale format. Some are self-report measures; that is, the rating is provided by the individual being assessed. The line between self-report instruments of this sort and personality tests is sometimes a fine one. Most of the measures, however, are designed for completion by an independent observer familiar with the individual. This typically involves a parent or teacher, although child-care workers, counselors, and others in contact with the youth might also serve as respondents.
The instruments reviewed in the chapter exhibit a variety of formats. Some are in the form of checklists or cumulated point scales. In this case the respondent simply indicates whether a behavior is present or not. Subscores and total scores are then formed by adding the number of items checked. Other instruments are in the form of rating scales. These usually involve what are referred to as graphic scales employing 3, 4, or 5-point Likert scales; that is, the respondent is provided with a set of response points (e.g., 1 = very true, 2 = somewhat true, 3 = somewhat false, 4 = very false).
These behavioral rating and checklist instruments are widely used for screening, diagnostic, and research purposes. Teacher checklist measures of behavioral pathology have proven, for example, very useful in the