A validity study of the Youth -Outcome Questionnaire and the Ohio Scales

Marc A Gironda, Pace University


The Youth-Outcome Questionnaire (Y-OQ) and the Ohio Scales (OS) were developed to track the course of child psychotherapy across time. They are unique instruments to the psychological test battery, as they were designed not to diagnose mental illness or elaborate on a patient's psychological state of mind. Instead, they purport to be sensitive to change; that is, both the Y-OQ and OS are specifically designed to measure the behavioral “change” that occurs in a child as the result of psychotherapy. Both the Y-OQ and the OS attempt to capture change over time. However, the OS, at face value, appears to be a superior instrument to the Y-OQ. This occurs for several reasons. First, the OS is shorter. Second, the OS allows for multiple raters. Third, the OS is simpler to score. And fourth, the OS allows for evaluation of a patient's strengths in addition to pathology. A validity study between these two instruments is indicated. Should satisfactory validity be established between the two instruments, an argument might exist to replace the Y-OQ with OS for the reasons stated above. The purpose of this study was to execute an investigation of validity between the two instruments. Fifty-eight pairs of children and parents were recruited. Participants completed the scales at intake and again three months into treatment. Internal consistency estimates for both instruments were calculated and found to be very high for both measures. Correlations between the scales at both points in time, and between the changes detected between the two points in time, were calculated to establish overall validity. Further analysis investigated correlations between the subscales of the instruments. All results revealed high degrees of internal consistency and evidence of concurrent and construct validity between the two measures. The identification of a satisfactory instrument to measure the effectiveness of psychotherapy is critical in today's managed-care climate. Such instruments are especially critical to school-clinical child psychologists, who are often bound by extreme budget restraints, and accordingly require instruments to address these restraints and to substantiate the efficacy of their work. This study demonstrates that the OS, while a new instrument, holds much promise as a both a clinically useful and psychometrically intact instrument for both mental health treatment providers and the institutions in which they work.

Subject Area

Psychological tests|Psychotherapy

Recommended Citation

Gironda, Marc A, "A validity study of the Youth -Outcome Questionnaire and the Ohio Scales" (2000). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9975586.



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