Child and Adolescent Behavior Inventory (CABI): A New Instrument for Epidemiological Studies and Pre-Clinical Evaluation

Carlo Cianchetti 1, *, Andrea Pittau 2, Valeria Carta 2, Grazia Campus 2, Roberta Littarru 2, Maria Giuseppina Ledda 1, Alessandro Zuddas 1, Giuseppina Sannio Fancello 2
1 Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, University Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Cagliari, Italy
2 Gnosis Center for Neuropsychological and Emotional Evaluation, Cagliari, Italy

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© Cianchetti et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, University Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria,via Ospedale 119, 09124 Cagliari, Italy; Tel: +39070669591; Fax: +390706093415; E-mail:



Some questionnaires have already been elaborated to collect information from parents of children and adolescents, both as preparation for clinical evaluation and for screening and epidemiological studies. Here a new questionnaire, the CABI, is proposed, and it is validated in a population of 8-10 year-old children. Compared to existing questionnaires, the CABI has been organized so as to be of medium length, with items concerning the most significant symptoms indicated by the DSM-IV-TR for the pertinent disorders, and covering a wider range than existing instruments. There is no charge for its use.


The answers of the parents of 302 children in the last 3 years of primary school provided the normative data. A discriminant validation was done for internalizing and externalizing disorders and as a comparison with self-administered anxiety and depression scales. Exploratory factor analysis and internal consistency were also performed.


Distribution of scores on the main scales in the normal population shows positive skewness, with the most frequent score being zero. A highly discriminant capability was found in regard to the sample of children with internalizing and externalizing disorders, with high correlation with the self-administered anxiety and depression scales.


The CABI appears to be capable, at least for 8-10 year-old children, of effectively discriminating those with pathological symptoms from those without. Compared with the widely- used CBCL, it has the advantages of a lower number of items, which should facilitate parental collaboration especially in epidemiological studies, and of being free of charge.

Keywords: CABI, inventory, behavior, internalizing, externalizing, screening, epidemiology.

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