The predictive utility of a brief kindergarten screening measure of child behavior problems.
Racz, S. J., King, K. M., Wu, J., Witkiewitz, K., McMahon, R. J., & Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2013). The predictive utility of a brief kindergarten screening measure of child behavior problems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(4), 588-599.
Abstract: Objective: Kindergarten teacher ratings, such as those from the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation-Revised (TOCA-R), are a promising cost- and time-effective screening method to identify children at risk for later problems. Previous research with the TOCA-R has been mainly limited to outcomes in a single domain measured during elementary school. The goal of the current study was to examine the ability of TOCA-R sum scores to predict outcomes in multiple domains across distinct developmental periods (i.e., late childhood, middle adolescence, late adolescence). Method: We used data from the Fast Track Project, a large multisite study with children at risk for conduct problems (n = 752; M age at start of study = 6.55 years; 57.7% male; 49.9% Caucasian, 46.3% African American). Kindergarten TOCA-R sum scores were used as the predictor in regression analyses; outcomes included school difficulties, externalizing diagnoses and symptom counts, and substance use. Results: TOCA-R sum scores predicted school outcomes at all time points, diagnosis of ADHD in 9th grade, several externalizing disorder symptom counts, and cigarette use in 12th grade. Conclusions: The findings demonstrate the predictive utility of the TOCA-R when examining outcomes within the school setting. Therefore, these results suggest the 10-item TOCA-R may provide a quick and accurate screening of children at risk for later problems. Implications for prevention and intervention programs are discussed.