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Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire: Impact score

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample children 4-17 who had difficulties with emotions, concentration, behavior, or being able to get along with others and who had these difficulties for one month or more, DIFSCORE reports the impact score based on responses to five variables:

  • Difficulties upset or distressed the child (DIFUPSET)
  • Child's difficulties interfere with home life (DIFHOME)
  • Child's difficulties interfere with friendships (DIFFRIEND)
  • Child's difficulties interfere with classroom learning (DIFLEARN)
  • Child's difficulties interfere with leisure activities (DIFLEISURE)

The Scoring Guide at the website provides guidance on how responses for these five variables "can be summed to generate an impact score that ranges from 0 to 10 for the parent-completed version." Under these guidelines, the responses "not at all" and "a little" are given a score of 0; a response of "a medium amount" is given a score of 1; and a response of "a great deal" is given a score of 2. For each of these variables, a score of 0 implies the least impact from the child's difficulty, and a score of 2 implies the greatest impact from the child's difficulty. If the scores for these five variables are summed, the total ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 implying the least impact from the child's difficulties and 10 implying the greatest impact from the child's difficulties.


There are no comparability issues.


  • 2001; 2003; 2004:


  • 2001, 2003-2004