Authors: Achenbach, TM; Ivanova, MY; Rescorla, LA
Source: COMPREHENSIVE PSYCHIATRY, 79 4-18; SI 10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.03.006 NOV 2017
Publication Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background: Originating in the 1960s, the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) comprises a family of instruments for assessing problems and strengths for ages 11/2-90+ years. Purpose: To provide an overview of the ASEBA, related research, and future directions for empirically based assessment and taxonomy. Content: Standardized, multi-informant ratings of transdiagnostic dimensions of behavioral, emotional, social, and thought problems are hierarchically scored on narrow-spectrum syndrome scales, broad-spectrum internalizing and externalizing scales, and a total problems (general psychopathology) scale. DSM-oriented and strengths scales are also scored. The instruments and scales have been iteratively developed from assessments of clinical and population samples of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Items, instruments, scales, and norms are tailored to different kinds of informants for ages 11/2-5, 6-18, 18-59, and 60-90+ years. To take account of differences between informants' ratings, parallel instruments are completed by parents, teachers, youths, adult probands, and adult collaterals. Syndromes and Internalizing/Externalizing scales derived from factor analyses of each instrument capture variations in patterns of problems that reflect different informants' perspectives. Confirmatory factor analyses have supported the syndrome structures in dozens of societies. Software displays scale scores in relation to user-selected multicultural norms for the age and gender of the person being assessed, according to ratings by each type of informant. Multicultural norms are derived from population samples in 57 societies on every inhabited continent. Ongoing and future research includes multicultural assessment of elders; advancing transdiagnostic progress and outcomes assessment; and testing higher order structures of psychopathology. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.