The Adult Self-Report (ASR) assesses adaptive functioning, personal strengths, and diverse behavioral, emotional, social, and thought problems and substance use on the basis of self-reports by 18-59-year-olds. The parallel Adult Behavior Checklist (ABCL) assesses most of the same aspects of functioning on the basis of reports by collaterals (spouse, partner, family member, friend, therapist, etc.) who know the adult who is being assessed. Scales for scoring the problem items include eight empirically based syndromes, which have been supported by confirmatory factor analyses of population samples from many societies (Ivanova et al., 2015a, b). The syndromes are designated as Anxious/Depressed, Withdrawn, Somatic Complaints, Thought Problems, Attention Problems, Aggressive Behavior, Rule-Breaking Behavior, and Intrusive. Problems are also scored on DSM-oriented, Obsessive-Compulsive, Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems scales. Adaptive functioning scales include Friends, Spouse/Partner, Family, Job (for people who have had paid work in the preceding 6 months), and Education (for people who have been enrolled in the preceding 6 months). The Personal Strengths scale comprises items such as I make good use of my opportunities and I work up to my ability. Substance use scales assess tobacco use, days drunk, and use of drugs for non-medical purposes over the preceding 6 months.
To test similarities and differences in problems and strengths reported for people in different societies, Rescorla et al. (2016a, b) compared ASR scores for population samples in 17 societies (N=10,197) and ABCL scores for population samples in 14 societies (N=8,322). Most effect sizes for societal differences on problem and adaptive functioning scales were small to medium. However, effect sizes for Personal Strengths were much larger for both the ASR (effect size = 34% of variance) and ABCL (effect size = 25% of variance). The much larger effect sizes for Personal Strengths reflected much greater homogeneity of ratings within societies than was found for problems and adaptive functioning.
Additional analyses of the ASR data revealed that Personal Strengths scores were affected more by societal differences (effect size = 14% of variance) and culture cluster (e.g., Confucian vs. Latin Europe) differences (effect size = 12% of variance) than were problem scores (societal effect sizes = 3-5%; culture cluster effect sizes = 0.02-0.03% for Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems). In other words, societal and cultural differences had moderate effects on Personal Strengths scores but very small effects on problem scores. Despite the larger effects of societal and cultural differences on Personal Strengths scores, individual differences within societies and culture clusters nevertheless accounted for most (74%) of the variance in Personal Strengths scores, albeit less than the 95-97% accounted for by individual differences in Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems scores.
Rescorla et al. (2016b) also computed cross-informant agreement between ASR and ABCL scores in 14 societies where the same individuals were assessed with both forms (N=8,302). Averaged across all 14 societies, the mean cross-informant correlation was .47. For problem items that had counterparts on the ASR and ABCL, the mean cross-informant correlation between mean item ratings averaged across the 14 societies was .92. This indicated almost total self- and collateral agreement in items receiving high, medium, and low ratings in each society. However, item rating agreement varied widely within self/collateral dyads in every society. In other words, even though the items functioned similarly for ASR and ABCL raters across societies, ASR-ABCL dyads within each society varied widely in their agreement on ratings of particular items for the person who was being assessed.
The Multicultural Supplement to the Manual for the ASEBA Adult Forms & Profiles (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2015) details applications of multicultural norms constructed from the data reported by Rescorla et al. (2016a, b). ASEBA Web and PC software (available at www.aseba.org) displays individual ASR and ABCL scores in relation to user-selected multicultural norms for societies having relatively low, medium, or high scores.
References: Achenbach, T.M., & Rescorla, L.A. (2015). Multicultural supplement to the Manual for the ASEBA Adult Forms & Profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families.
Ivanova, M.Y., Achenbach, T.M., Rescorla, L.A., Turner, L.V., Ahmeti-Pronaj, A., Au, A., et al. (2015a). Syndromes of self-reported psychopathology for ages 18-59 in 29 societies. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 37, 171-183.
Ivanova, M.Y., Achenbach, T.M., Rescorla, L.A., Turner, L.V., ÁrnadÓttir, H.A., Au, A., et al. (2015b). Syndromes of collateral-reported psychopathology for ages 18-59 in 18 societies. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 15, 18-28.
Rescorla, L.A., Achenbach, T.M., Ivanova, M.Y., Turner, L.V., Árnadóttir, H.A., Au, A., et al. (2016a). Collateral reports of problems and cross-informant agreement about adult psychopathology in 14 societies. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 38, 381-397.
Rescorla, L.A., Achenbach, T.M., Ivanova, M.Y., Turner, L.V., Althoff, R.R., Au, A., et al. (2016b). Problems and adaptive functioning reported by adults in 17 societies. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 5, 91-109.