Background: A considerable proportion of children and adolescents attending
mental health services suffer from severe affective and behavioral dysregulation. The
Dysregulation Profile, which was identified based on certain subscales of the Child Behavior
Checklist and later, also in certain subscales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire,
has been defined as a marker of a broader form of severe psychopathology. DP has been
described as a theoretical construct and research data have been provided to consolidate its
operational description. However, its stability, which is one of the fundamental aspects for
operational definition of a construct, remains unexplored.
Methods: A retrospective six-month follow-up study was conducted in order to clarify
stability and persistence of the Dysregulation Profile, assessed with the Strengths and
Difficulties Questionnaire, in a clinical sample of 299 children and adolescents.
Results: The temporal consistency of the Dysregulation Profile, assessed with the Strengths
and Difficulties Questionnaire, found in this sample was fair. Test-retest reliability of
Dysregulation Profile, assessed with Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, over six
months was moderate. There were no differences between groups by sex or age.
Conclusion: Results support the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-Dysregulation
Profile as a useful tool to assess Dysregulation Profile, with a moderate stability and fair
persistence, in line with previous literature. Further investigation is needed in order to clarify
risk and maintenance factors.