Psychometric properties

Test-retest reliability yielded ICCs ranging from 0.59 to 0.80 according to the scale under scrutiny. Internal consistency (Cronbach alpha coefficients) was studied in various samples:

Studies Site Alpha
Valla & al. (2000) Qc .89
Dugré & al. (2001) Qc .72 à .87
Linares Scott & al. (2006) US .92
Shojaei & al. (2009) Fr .62 to .89

Validation results from several studies can be found in various articles listed under Publications.

  • Factor analyses show internalizing and externalizing factors.
  • Significant differences between clinical and non-clinical samples were demonstrated on prevalence estimates and mean scores for every diagnosis.
  • Criterion validity was also assessed by asking children to explain their yes/no answers. For every drawing, the children’s explanations were recorded and later blindly analyzed by three independent clinical judges as to their correspondence with the DSM-IV criteria. Kappa values were high (0.64-0.88) between Dominic-based diagnoses and the DSM-IV diagnoses based on judges’ clinical judgments, as well as between the judges (0.76-0.95).
  • Concurrent use with several instruments show convergent validity.

Some limitations of the Dominic Interactive pertain to all instruments addressing child mental health.

  • Assessing child mental health requires input from several informants. Responsible professionals would balance the child's perception with other informants' perception, mainly parents and school professionals.
  • Social desirability may be a limiting factor of the instrument. Antisocial behaviour is usually reported by other informants.
  • Lack of insight may be a limitation.
  • Because children tend to live in present time, experiences occurring immediately prior to the interview may influence responses.
  • Instruments used to screen for child mental health sacrifice idiosyncratic information in exchange for speedy assessment and data comparability.

The Dominic Interactive also presents some limitations of its own.

  • It provides diagnostic-approximates or "tendencies" rather than straightforward DSM-IV-TR diagnoses.
  • It is not intended for use with children who are under 6 years of age, mentally challenged or developmentally retarded. These children tend to focus on concrete details, giving answers such as: "I am not like Dominic because I don't wear black pants."

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