The PPSC is a social/emotional screening instrument for children 18-60 months of age. The PPSC was created as one part of a comprehensive screening instrument designed for pediatric primary care and is modeled after the Pediatric Symptom Checklist. Items for the PPSC were developed by a team of experts who reviewed existing assessment instruments and relevant research literature. Scale construction and initial validation (including factor analysis and tests of construct validity) were conducted with 292 families from pediatric primary care sites and 354 families from referral clinics. 171 additional families were recruited from primary care sites to obtain an independent replication sample.
Exploratory factor analysis revealed 4 dimensions of the PPSC: Externalizing, Internalizing, Attention Problems, and Parenting Challenges. These dimensions were incorporated into a bifactor model that displayed a strong general factor, thus supporting the use of a total score. The PPSC total score shows strong internal and retest reliability, and it identifies children who score in the clinical range of a longer, well-validated and more comprehensive parent-report instrument (the CBCL), as well as children who are reported to have a range of behavioral diagnoses. Moreover, sensitivity and specificity with respect to these criteria were comparable to those of another well-accepted but longer screener, the ASQ:SE. Finally, results for the PPSC’s total scale remained consistent when replicated in an independent sample.
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