Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Kenneth W. Merrell


Kenneth W. Merrell


Susan Crowley


Patricia Truhn


Over the past two decades, a great deal of research has been devoted to the understanding of internalizing disorders in children. Internalizing disorders encompass a wide variety of problems, including depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, and somatic complaints. It has been suggested that the existence of internalizing disorders in children has negative effects upon their self-esteem, academic achievement, physical health, and future adjustment. However, because internalizing disorders are, in great measure, subjective perceptions of internal distress, they are often not readily or reliably identified by external observers. As a result, several researchers have stressed the importance of eliciting the child 's perspective through self-report assessment. While there are several excellent self-report measures of internalizing constructs, none of these instruments is designed to measure the comprehensive domain of internalizing disorders in children below the age of 11 even though it has been established that children as young as 8 are able to give reliable self-reports. This apparent dearth of broad-based instruments for middle- to late-elementary school children creates problems for the assessment of internalizing problems because the various internalizing syndromes often coexist with one another, therefore limiting the utility of a single-syndrome instrument.

The newly developed Internalizing Symptoms Scale for Children (ISSC) is a 48- item self-report instrument designed to measure the broad range of internalizing problems in children. This investigation was conducted to establish whether the ISSC is a reliable measure of internalizing symptoms in 8- to 12-year-old children over 2-, 4-, and 12-week intervals. Overall, the findings provide strong support for the ISSC as a reliable measure of internalizing symptoms in elementary-age children over short- to medium-length time intervals.



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