Assessment of symptoms of DSM-IV anxiety and depression in children: a revised child anxiety and depression scale

Behav Res Ther. 2000 Aug;38(8):835-55. doi: 10.1016/s0005-7967(99)00130-8.


The practical significance of assessing disorders of emotion in children is well documented, yet few scales exist that possess conceptual if not empirical relevance to dimensions of DSM anxiety or depressive disorders. The current study evaluated an adaptation of a recently developed anxiety measure (Spence Children's Anxiety Scale; [Spence, S. H. (1997). Structure of anxiety symptoms among children: a confirmatory factor-analytic study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 280-297; Spence, S. H. (1998). A measure of anxiety symptoms among children. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 545-566]), revised to correspond to dimensions of several DSM-IV anxiety disorders as well as major depression. This investigation involved initial evaluation of the factorial validity of the revised measure in a school sample of 1641 children and adolescents and reliability and validity in an independent sample of 246 children and adolescents. Results yielded an item set and factor definitions that demonstrated structure consistent with DSM-IV anxiety disorders and depression. The revised factor structure and definitions were further supported by the reliability and validity analyses. Some implications for assessment of childhood anxiety and depressive disorders are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Disclosure
  • Sex Factors