ABSTRACT:This article introduces them-ADBB, a modified version of the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB; A. Guedeney & J. Fermanian, 2001)used to screen for infant social withdrawal. Social withdrawal can be an indicator of several factors, including infant depression. A brief description isgiven of various studies that have shown that infants’ behavior, as rated on the ADBB, is associated with poor maternal and paternal mental health aswell as with later cognitive development. The original ADBB comprised eight items that clinicians rated on a 5-point scale. Following work in Australia,this scale was modified to a five-item checklist, with each item being rated on a 3-category scale to improve interrater reliability. The m-ADBB isdescribed, together with data relating to psychometric properties, available training programs, and current studies.
Expert’s Note: The M-ADBB is a very good screening tool for front-line professionals who may not have extensive training in mental health or early childhood development. It takes less than 10 minutes (observation time and scoring) and is as reliable as the ADBB for screening. However, it does not replace the ADBB, which allows for follow-up under intervention.