The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the CBCL-bipolar phenotype are not useful in diagnosing pediatric bipolar disorder

Rasim Somer Diler, Boris Birmaher, David Axelson, Ben Goldstein, Marykay Gill, Michael Strober, David J. Kolko, Tina R. Goldstein, Jeffrey Hunt, Mei Yang, Neal D. Ryan, Satish Iyengar, Ronald E. Dahl, Lorah D. Dorn, Martin B. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Objectives: Previous studies have suggested that the sum of Attention, Aggression, and Anxious/Depressed subscales of Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL-PBD; pediatric bipolar disorder phenotype) may be specific to pediatric bipolar disorder (BP). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the CBCL and CBCL-PBD to identify BP in children <12 years old. Methods: A sample of children with BP I, II, and not otherwise specified (NOS) (n = 157) ascertained through the Course and Outcome for Bipolar Disorder in Youth (COBY) study were compared with a group of children with major depressive/anxiety disorders (MDD/ANX; n = 101), disruptive behavior disorder (DBD) (n = 127), and healthy control (HC) (n = 128). The CBCL T-scores and area under the curve (AUC) scores were calculated and compared among the above-noted groups. Results: Forty one percent of BP children did not have significantly elevated CBCL-PBD scores (≥2 standard deviations [SD]). The sensitivity and specificity of CBCL-PBD ≥ 2 SD for diagnosis of BP was 57% and 70-77%, respectively, and the accuracy of CBCL-PBD for identifying a BP diagnosis was moderate (AUC = 0.72-0.78). Conclusion: The CBCL and the CBCL-PBD showed that BP children have more severe psychopathology than HC and children with other psychopathology, but they were not useful as a proxy for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) diagnosis of BP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the CBCL-bipolar phenotype are not useful in diagnosing pediatric bipolar disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this