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The Development of a School-Based Measure of Child Mental Health

Deighton, J.; Tymms, P.; Vostanis, P.; Belsky, J.; Fonagy, P.; Brown, A.; Martin, A.; Patalay, P.; Wolpert, M.

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J. Deighton

P. Vostanis

J. Belsky

P. Fonagy

A. Brown

A. Martin

P. Patalay

M. Wolpert


Early detection of child mental health problems in schools is critical for implementing strategies for prevention and intervention. The development of an effective measure of mental health and well-being for this context must be both empirically sound and practically feasible. This study reports the initial validation of a brief self-report measure for child mental health suitable for use with children as young as 8 years old (“Me & My School” [M&MS]). After factor analysis, and studies of measurement invariance, 2 subscales emerged: emotional difficulties and behavioral difficulties. These 2 subscales were highly correlated with corresponding constructs of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and showed correlations with attainment, deprivation, and educational needs similar to ones obtained between these demographic measures and the SDQ. Results suggest that this school-based self-report measure is psychometrically sound, and has the potential of contributing to school mental health surveys, evaluation of interventions, and recognition of mental health problems within schools.


Deighton, J., Tymms, P., Vostanis, P., Belsky, J., Fonagy, P., Brown, A., …Wolpert, M. (2013). The Development of a School-Based Measure of Child Mental Health. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 31(3), 247-257.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2013
Deposit Date Dec 18, 2012
Publicly Available Date Aug 2, 2013
Journal Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Print ISSN 0734-2829
Electronic ISSN 1557-5144
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 3
Pages 247-257
Keywords Mental health, Self-report, Child, School surveys, Me & My School.


Accepted Journal Article (298 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

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