The Symptom Check-List-90 (SCL-90) is a widely used psychiatric questionnaire which has not yet been validated in Finland. We investigated the utility of the translated version of the SCL-90 in the Finnish population, and set community norms for it. The internal consistency of the original subscales was checked and found to be good. Discriminant function analysis, based on the nine original subscales, showed that the power of the SCL-90 to discriminate between patients and the community is good. Factor analysis of the items of the questionnaire yielded a very strong unrotated first factor, suggesting that a general factor may be present. This together with the fact that high intercorrelations were found between the nine original subscales suggests that the instrument is not multidimensional. The SCL-90 may be useful in a research setting as an instrument for measuring the change in symptomatic distress, or as a screening instrument. The American community norms should be used with caution, as the Finnish community sample scored consistently higher on all subscales.