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17-09-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 1/2017

The Factor Structure of the Ohio Scales: A Practical Measure of Psychological Symptoms in Youth

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 1/2017
Francis Tony Bonadio, Carolyn Tompsett


Stakeholders have increased the focus on accountability for community mental health agencies, leading to the need for an efficient method of measuring mental health outcomes for youth. The Ohio Scales were developed specifically to address the drawbacks of existing measures of child and adolescent mental health such as length, cost, and ease of scoring. The current study examined the factor structure of the Ohio Scales Problem Severity scale and explored the concurrent validity of those factors by comparing them to similar factors on the Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self Report, two well-established measures of childhood mental health. Using archival data from a community mental health agency serving youth and families, a randomly split sample was used to conduct an exploratory factor analysis on one subsample followed by a confirmatory factor analysis on a second subsample. The results of these analyses indicated that a four-factor model provided the best fit to the data for both youth and parent report on the Ohio Scales. The four factors included: Aggression, Delinquency, Depression, and Anxiety. Comparing the Ohio Scale factors to the factors on the Child Behavior Checklist and YSR revealed that theoretically similar factors (e.g., Anxiety and Internalizing) were more highly correlated than dissimilar factors (e.g., Anxiety and Externalizing). These results provide concurrent validity of the four-factor model of the Ohio Scales. These factors may provide more specific information regarding the types of emotional and behavioral problems youth and parents are reporting to clinicians.

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