Child Behavior Inventory (CBI)

A 42-item, behavioral screening tool that measures children’s behavioral symptoms and adaptations. Modified from numerous other child behavioral measurements, the CBI is available in two versions—CBI-A (for parents and/or caretakers) and CBI-C (for children). Both versions can either be self-administered or administered as a structured interview; however, CBI-C can only be administered to children between the ages of 10 and 16, while the CBI-A can be administered to parents and caretakers of children between the ages of 5 and 16. When possible, administration in an interview format is advisable, especially when administering the questionnaire directly to children, as this method tends to yield better results. The questionnaire contains 25 items that inquire about behavioral symptoms—aggression (9 items), depression (10 items), and anxiety (6 items)—and 17 items measuring behavioral adaptations—prosocial behavior (9 items) and planful behavior (8 items). The CBI response options are based on a 4-point scale: Never (0), Rarely (1), Sometimes (2), and Always (3). Sub-scale scores are first tallied (i.e. a score for aggression, depression, anxiety, prosocial behavior, and planful behavior) and added together to derive an overall CBI score.

Related Publications

Macksoud, M. S., & Aber, J. L. (1996). The war experiences and psychosocial development of children in Lebanon. Child Development, 67(1), 70-88.

Ager, A. & Loughry, M. (2004). Psychology and Humanitarian Assistance. Journal of Humanitarian Assistance:

What it measures

Problematic behavior, Behavior



Children aged 5 to 16 years


Macksoud S. M., Aber, L., Dyregrov, A., & Raundalen, M. (1990). Child Behavior Inventory: Project on children and war. New York: Columbia University, Center for the Study of Human Rights.


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