Child Behavior Checklist - Mania Scale (CBCL-MS): Development and evaluation of a population-based screening scale for bipolar disorder
Context. Early identification of Bipolar Disorder (BD) remains poor despite the high levels of disability associated with the disorder. Objective. We developed and evaluated a new DSM orientated scale for the identification of young people at risk for BD based on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and compared its performance against the CBCL-Pediatric Bipolar Disorder (CBCL-PBD) and the CBCL-Externalizing Scale, the two most widely used scales. Methods. The new scale, CBCL-Mania Scale (CBCL-MS), comprises 19 CBCL items that directly correspond to operational criteria for mania. We tested the reliability, longitudinal stability and diagnostic accuracy of the CBCL-MS on data from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a prospective epidemiological cohort study of 2230 Dutch youths assessed with the CBCL at ages 11, 13 and 16. At age 19 lifetime psychiatric diagnoses were ascertained with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. We compared the predictive ability of the CBCL-MS against the CBCL-Externalising Scale and the CBCL-PBD in the TRAILS sample. Results. The CBCL-MS had high internal consistency and satisfactory accuracy (area under the curve = 0.64) in this general population sample. Principal Component Analyses, followed by parallel analyses and confirmatory factor analyses, identified four factors corresponding to distractibility/disinhibition, psychosis, increased libido and disrupted sleep. This factor structure remained stable across all assessment ages. Logistic regression analyses showed that the CBCL-MS had significantly higher predictive ability than both the other scales. Conclusions. Our data demonstrate that the CBCL-MS is a promising screening instrument for BD. The factor structure of the CBCL-MS showed remarkable temporal stability between late childhood and early adulthood suggesting that it maps on to meaningful developmental dimensions of liability to BD.