Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Mary L. Kelley


Many children display problematic behavior during the toddler period (12 to 41 months). Although many behavior problems are transient, some children continue to have difficulties through school age and beyond. Recent literature has identified risk factors correlated with continuity of behavior problems. Early identification and intervention with these children may reduce the likelihood of long-term difficulties. The first step in detecting children with problematic behavior is screening. The Toddler Behavior Screening Inventory (TBSI) is a 40-item instrument designed to be used for the rapid assessment of maternal-perceived toddler behavior problems. The present study further evaluated the psychometric properties of the TBSI. In addition, the study investigated the relation between TBSI scores and established risk factors (e.g., maternal depression, marital discord, social support, and stress) in clinical and nonclinical samples. The results suggest that the TBSI is an internally stable measure with good reliability and validity. Various differences among the demographic groups were found, as well as differences among the risk factors. In addition, the TBSI was found to fairly accurately discriminate the clinical from nonclinical subjects. Therefore, the TBSI appears to be a psychometrically sound method of screening behavior problems in toddlers.