Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 12, Issue 1, 2020

Article 2
The Caribbean Symptom Checklist: A Culturally Valid Multidimensional Measure of Psychological Functioning in English Speaking Caribbean Nations

Michael Canute Lambert
Alison H. Levitch
Clement T. M. Lambert
Fredrick Hickling
Maureen Samms-Vaughan
Roger Gibson
Travis Albritton


Obtaining extensive input from the Caribbean adult community, Caribbean researchers developed the culturally valid Caribbean Symptom Checklist (CSC). A rational approach ensured conceptual validity, where Caribbean mental health professionals grouped CSC symptoms according to six scales labeled Anxiety, Aggressive/Antisocial, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, Depression, Mania/Hypomania, and Psychosis. Data analyses conducted on responses given by 695 adults supported clinicians’ item groupings and revealed no response bias across gender or SES, but bias for referral status and rating scale type (i.e., presence and magnitude versus problem concern levels). Item response theory (IRT) linking procedures virtually removed this response bias. Items on different CSC scales discriminate well for the problem levels they measure. CSC scale items capably measure psychopathology in adults whose problem levels range from well below to above the mean. Findings show that the CSC is a culturally and conceptually valid, user friendly, accessible, economical, and highly flexible tool that professionals can use in clinical assessment and research with Caribbean adults.