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Reliability and Validity


There is compelling evidence that Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories exhibit satisfactory psychometric properties. Their reliability and validity are described in detail in their respective manuals as well as hundreds of scientific publications. Manuals provide information about correspondence with psychiatric diagnoses; convergence and divergence with similar and different measures, respectively; ability to differentiate relevant clinical and non-clinical populations; intercorrelation among subscales; internal consistency reliability (Chronbach's alpha); test-retest and inter-rater reliability; and so forth. Test manuals also include information about norm samples and T scores. Briefly, the test-retest reliabilities of most disorder-based subscales range from moderate to high. Dozens of studies have compared Symptom Inventory subscales with structured psychiatric interviews or data-based psychiatric diagnoses in research-oriented teaching hospitals. The findings from these studies indicate reasonably low rates of false negatives (moderate to high sensitivity) and low rates of false positives (moderate to high specificity) for most disorders.  Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventory subscales show reasonably high agreement with other commonly used behavior rating scales and easily differentiate clinical and nonclinical samples. In addition, research clearly shows that many subscales evidence sensitivity to treatment effects.


Because the items in Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories bear one-to-one correspondence with symptom criteria in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), they are generally considered to have high face and content validity regarding the diagnostic model on which they are based. It is important to add, however, that many DSM symptom statements required at least some rephrasing in orderer to be more easily understood by caregivers and patients / clients / students.

For many reasons, people may behave differently, or are perceived to behave differently, in different settings. Therefore, agreement between informants (e.g., parents, teachers, patient self-reports) is generally low to moderate, which underscores the value of obtaining reports from multiple informants when conducting clinical evaluations. 


Consistent with the DSM’s characterization of psychiatric syndromes, the symptom modules for specific disorders within the Symptom Inventories are highly similar across the age span and for males and females. It is not surprising, therefore, that the psychometric properties of specific symptom modelues are generally consistent across different assessment instruments.


An extensive annotated bibliography of research studies that used at least one Checkmate Plus measure can be accessed hereMost of these studies report findings that inform at least some aspect of reliability or validity of Checkmate Plus Symptom Inventories.