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Jesness Behavior Checklist

Carl. F. Jesness, Ph.D.

    Technical Information

    Normative Data
    The normative sample for the JBC consists of 2,114 youths from 13 to 21 years old. Most of the youth were male delinquents in two California Youth Authority institutions. The 235 females in the normative group were on probation.

    The JBC was developed to fill the need for an instrument that could be easily completed by nonprofessionals and measure behaviors of delinquent youths. It has been proven to be accurate, dependable, and of high quality. The majority of studies using the JBC have proven the instrument to be reliable and valid, with good inter-observer and predictive validity.
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    Interpretive Reports
    Interpretive Reports provide a graphical representation of the rating results and list the respondent's answer to each item.

    Two additional reports are also available:
    Observer Report

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    About the Author

    Dr. Carl Jesness
    Carl Jesness received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1955. Following two years of post-doctoral training, he was employed as a clinical psychologist with the Veteran's Administration and the California Youth Authority. In 1959, he began his long career as a researcher in the field of juvenile delinquency as a senior research analyst for the Youth Authority to head the Fricot Ranch Study, a research project funded by the Rosenberg Foundation, whose purpose was to study the effectiveness of intensive institutional treatment on the later careers of serious delinquents.

    That study was the first of many research projects he supervised over the next 26 years, initially as a behavioral scientist, and later as chief of the Research Bureau. During the course of all these projects, he found it essential to evaluate any program-related changes in the attitudes and behavior of the youth involved in California Youth Authority programs, but found that valid measures for these purposes did not exist. As a result, Dr. Jesness embarked on an effort to develop appropriate and valid psychological instruments that were to continue even past his retirement from the Youth Authority in 1985.

    Although most of his publications have described the results of his many research projects, Dr. Jesness is most widely known as the author of the measure that resulted from these efforts - Jesness Inventory™, Jesness Inventory Classification System™, and Jesness Behavior Checklist™.


Carl F. Jesness, Ph.D.

Age Range 13 to 18 

Administration Time 20 minutes

Administration Type

  • Self-report
  • Observer-completed

Qualification Level B


  • Handscored
  • Software (administration and scoring) 
  • Scoring Service