Instrument Development

Somatic Complaint List

Quick overview

  • Available in Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Albanian & Farsi
  • for children and adolescents
  • to identify how often they experience and feel pain / bodily complaints (e.g. stomach ache)
  • 11 items (two reverse scored)
  • response format: never, sometimes, often
  • good reliability (alpha > .75) in both the U.K and Dutch samples

Publications about the Somatic Complaints List

Dutch and English versions of the SCL were previously constructed in parallel (Rieffe et al., 2004; 2006). The process involved using responses given by teachers to the question of what are children’s most common health complaints. It also contains items comparable to those present in a more extensive measure, the Children’s Somatisation Index (CSI; Walker & Greene, 1989).


Rieffe C, Meerum Terwogt M, Bosch JD (2002). Emotie-identificatie en rapportage lichamelijke klachten bij kinderen. Kind en Adolescent, 23, 3, 154-169.

Jellesma, F.C., Rieffe, C., & Meerum Terwogt, M. (2007). The Somatic Complaint List: Validation of a self-report questionnaire assessing somatic complaints in children. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 63, 399-401.

For validation of the questionnaire in Spanish:

Rieffe, C., Villanueva, L., Adrián, J.E. & Górriz, A.B. (2009). Somatic complaints, mood states and emotional awareness in adolescents. Psicothema, 21, 459-464.

For validation of the questionnaire in Farsi:

Rieffe, C., Oosterveld, P., Meerum Terwogt, M., Novin, S., Nasiri, H., & Latifian, M. (2010). Relationship between alexithymia, mood and internalizing symptoms in children and young adolescents: Evidence from an Iranian sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 48, 425-430.

Download SCL pdfs here:

Somatic Complaint List [Dutch]

Somatic Complaint List [English]

Somatic Complaint List [Greek]

Somatic Complaint List [Italian]

Somatic Complaint List [Spanish]

Somatic Complaint List [Albanian]

The syntax for the SCL can be downloaded here. For more info please refer to our FAQs.