Classification of antisocial behaviors along severity and frequency parameters

Héctor R. Bird, Mark Davies, Glorisa Canino, Rolf Loeber, Maritza Rubio-Stipec, Sa Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Antisocial behaviors were systematically classified along a hierarchy of seriousness or severity that also accounted for frequency of occurrence and heterogeneity of behaviors. Items from the CD and ODD schedules of the NIMH DISC-IV and from the Elliot Delinquency Scales were listed at specified frequencies. Nine mental health clinicians rated the level of seriousness of each alternative on a scale from 0 (trivial) to 5 (very serious). Reliability of the ratings was assessed. Over two thirds of the items showed excellent agreement among the raters, 8% showed poor agreement and 21% showed fair to moderate agreement. The overall reliability of a single rater's score was 0.56 and the reliability of the average was 0.84. The classification meets high psychometric standards for reliability and has face validity. The final output provides a classification along a spectrum that takes into account severity, frequency of occurrence during the previous year, and presence of multiple behaviors. It is useful for classification purposes and for longitudinal tracking of antisocial behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-341
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antisocial behaviors
  • Classification
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Longitudinal measures
  • Psychometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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