How did the WPQ come into existence?
Dr. Warshak developed the questionnaire shortly after going into private practice. It was his intention to improve upon the forms that were being used in the child guidance clinic where he worked. Dr. Warshak applied the knowledge he gained from designing numerous questionnaires for two separate projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. These included questionnaires used in his divorce, custody, and stepfamily studies. For the most part this has been a labor of love. Despite rising printing and postage costs, the cost of the booklet edition has remained the same since the booklet was first issued in 1988.
Is there any systematic research on the WPQ?
As a clinical form, there is no systematic research on the WPQ. It was not designed to generate scores in comparison with normative groups. Rather, it is a form to elicit information that normally might require several different forms and interview time to obtain. We do not rule out the possibility, though, of conducting future research.
The WPQ addresses all issues that are addressed in other standard checklists, such as the Child Behavior Checklist. But the WPQ does not quantify a behavior problem score because such statistics invariably oversimplify and sometimes distort a representation of the child’s psychological status. For instance, most clinicians would regard a child’s propensity to set fires as a manifestation of a severe disorder that warrants immediate attention. But if the child did not manifest many other behavior problems, the CBC score may indicate that this child has a better behavioral status than children who have multiple but mild problems in areas that are far less life threatening.
Does the WPQ take into account the various family structures in which children live?
Yes. This was one of the main purposes in designing the instrument. For instance, in a divorced family, the WPQ asks for information about all households in which the child spends time.
Does the WPQ lock respondents into forced choice responses?
Although some items are in a checklist format, unlike other parent questionnaires the WPQ provides a structure for the respondent to provide any additional information or explanation desired.
Is the WPQ a psychological test?
No. It is a form used to obtain demographic and intake information. As with any client-completed form, the professional must use judgment in reviewing and analyzing the responses.
Will insurance reimburse for administration and review of the WPQ?
If services to your client are covered by insurance, administration and review and analysis of the WPQ may be covered, as are other clinical intake forms. If the WPQ is used in a forensic evaluation, some clinicians charge a fee to cover the cost of the report plus professional time to review and analyze the responses.