Behavior classification system for children with developmental, psychiatric, and chronic medical problems

Robert J. Thompson, William Kronenberger, John F. Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Derived a new behavior classification system based on Missouri Children's Behavior Checklist (MCBC) ratings. Using an accumulated MCBC data base on 854 children, 4-14 years of age, with developmental disabilities (n = 471), psychiatric problems (n = 155), chronic illnesses (n = 184), and nonreferred controls (n = 44), raw scale scores were transformed into T scores and then factor analyzed. Three factors emerged: Internalizing, Externalizing, and Sociable. Hierarchical cluster analysis of factor scores yielded six behavior profile clusters that replicated. Classification rules, based on T scores, were derived for each of the six clusters and for unclassified profiles to yield seven behavior patterns. There were four behavior problem patterns: Internal, External, Mixed Internal and External profiles, and Undifferentiated Disturbance. There were three behavior problem free patterns: Low Social Skills, Problem-free, and Sociable profiles. The distribution of these seven behavior patterns differed significantly across children with developmental, psychiatric, and medical problems and nonreferred controls. Furthermore, the new system provides more refined behavior pattern delineation than previously developed systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-575
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior problems
  • Behavior profile
  • Classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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