Bangla Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Bangla SDQ)

Mohammad S I Mullick, Robert Goodman

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Time: 5-10 minutes
Ages: 2-17 year olds
Time Frame: Last 6 months and above

Purpose: Screening emotional and behavioral problems of Bangladeshi children by researchers, clinicians and educationalists.

Commentary: The items cover emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems, and prosocial behaviors. A brief impact supplement asks whether the respondent thinks that he/she has a problem, and if so, inquires further about overall distress, social impairment, burden and chronicity. This provides useful additional information for clinicians and researchers with an interest in psychiatric caseness and the determinants of service use.

Versions: It exists in several Bangla versions of multi- source informants- parent, teacher and self.

Edition: First edition 2001, Second Edition 2017

Items: Bangla SDQ consists of 25 attributes as originally developed by Robert Goodman in English some of them are positive and some are negative.

Scale: These 25 items are divided between 5 scales:
1) emotional symptoms (5 items)
2) conduct problems (5 items)
3) hyperactivity/inattention (5 items)
4) peer relationship problems (5 items)
5) prosocial behaviour (5 items)

1) to 4) added together to generate a total score (based on 20 items)

Scoring: The 25 items in the SDQ comprise 5 scales of 5 items each. It is usually easiest to score all 5 scales first before working out the total difficulties score. ‘Somewhat True’ is always scored as 1, but the scoring of ‘Not True’ and ‘Certainly True’ varies with the item, as shown below scale by scale.
Interpretations: Subjects were considered as screen positive when they were found ‘probable’ psychiatric cases from Bangla SDQ cut-offs algorithm. It is simple paper and pencil method. SDQ cut-offs of total scale and sub scales are available.
Reliability and Validity: The SDQ has been shown to be of excellent reliability and validity in numerous studies. The SDQ has a good sensitivity (90%) and specificity (94%). Internal consistency of the SDQ,Total Difficulties Score and subscale scores are very good.
SDQ web site at provides more information on the SDQ plus downloadable versions of the questionnaires in many languages.

Key references:
1. Goodman R. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. A research note. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1997; 38: 581-586.

2. Goodman R. The extended version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire as a guide to child psychiatric caseness and consequent burden. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1999; 40: 791-801.

3. Mullick M, Goodman R. Questionnaire screening for mental health problems in Bangladeshi children: a preliminary study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2001; 36: 94-99.

Professor Dr. Mohammad S. I. Mullick
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Shahbagh,
Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh.
© Goodman R., 2001

Bengla SDQ
Single-sided version without impact supplement

One-sided SDQ for parents or educators of 2-4 year olds   Download file
One-sided SDQ for parents or teachers of 4-17 year olds  Download file
One-sided self-rated SDQ for 11-17 year olds  Download file

Double-sided version with impact supplement
P2-4 – SDQ and impact supplement for the parents of 2-4 year olds  Download file
P4-17 – SDQ and impact supplement for the parents of 4-17 year olds  Download file
T4-17 – SDQ and impact supplement for the teachers of 4-17 year olds  Download file
S11-17 – SDQ and impact supplement for self-completion by 11-17 year olds  Download file

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