This report describes the early stages in the development and testing of an instrument, known as the CHIP (Child Health and Illness Profile), for assessing the health of individuals aged 11 through 17. The purpose of the instrument is to assess health in epidemiologic surveys, to determine the existence of systematic differences in health in subpopulations (including the socioeconomically disadvantaged), and to provide a basis for assessing the impact of changes in health services or health policies. An instrument consisting of six domains with 25 subdomains was developed based on the literature, the involvement of focus groups and expert panels, and pretesting in four groups of teenagers known to differ in their health. The results of work with panels of experts suggest that the instrument has content validity. Most domains and subdomains had acceptable reliability as measured by α coefficients. Differences in the scores of individuals in the four groups were in the predicted directions, suggesting that the instrument also has construct validity. Additional research is under way to establish other aspects of validity as well as reliability in school populations of adolescents as well as specific clinical settings.

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