Self-Reported Delinquency—Problem Behavior Frequency Scale

SelfReported DelinquencyProblem Behavior Frequency Scale is a measure of adolescent problem behavior. It is a selfreport instrument that assesses the frequency of problem behaviors such as physical aggression, rulebreaking, and substance use. The scale is designed to measure the frequency of problem behaviors over a period of time, such as the past year or past month. The scale consists of 25 items, each of which is rated on a fivepoint scale fromnever tovery often. The items are divided into five subscales: physical aggression, rulebreaking, substance use, sexual behavior, and property damage. The SelfReported DelinquencyProblem Behavior Frequency Scale has been used in research to assess the prevalence and frequency of problem behaviors among adolescents. It has also been used to measure changes in problem behavior over time. The scale has been found to be reliable and valid, and is widely used in research on adolescent problem behavior.
In the last 30 days‚ how many times have you …
1. Been on suspension?
2. Stolen something from another student?
3. Snuck into someplace without paying such as movies‚ onto a bus or subway?
4. Skipped school?
5. Cheated on a test?
6. Taken something from a store without paying for it (shoplifted)?
7. Written things or sprayed paint on walls or sidewalks or cars where you were not supposed to?
8. Damaged school or other property that did not belong to you?
These items measure the frequency of delinquency behaviors. Respondents are asked to indicate how often in the past month they have been suspended‚ stolen something or shoplifted‚ cheated‚ or damaged the property of others.
This tool touches on the following keywords:
This instrument can be found on page 209 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at:
·         Never = 1
·         1-2 times = 2
·         3-5 times = 3
·         6-9 times = 4
·         10-19 times = 5
·         20 or more times = 6
Point values for all responses are summed. High scores indicate higher levels of delinquency.

Developed from: Jessor‚ R.‚ & Jessor‚ S.L. (1977). Problem behavior and psychological development: a longitudinal study of youth. New York: Academic Press.