The Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale 25-Parent Version: Scale Development and Validation in a School-Based and Clinical Sample

Assessment. 2017 Sep;24(6):712-728. doi: 10.1177/1073191115627012. Epub 2016 Feb 1.


To help facilitate the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based assessment practices, we examined the psychometric properties of the shortened 25-item version of the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale-parent report (RCADS-25-P), which was based on the same items as the previously published shortened 25-item child version. We used two independent samples of youth-a school sample ( N = 967, Grades 3-12) and clinical sample ( N = 433; 6-18 years)-to examine the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the RCADS-25-P scale scores. Results revealed that the two-factor structure (i.e., depression and broad anxiety factor) fit the data well in both the school and clinical sample. All reliability estimates, including test-retest indices, exceeded benchmark for good reliability. In the school sample, the RCADS-25-P scale scores converged significantly with related criterion measures and diverged with nonrelated criterion measures. In the clinical sample, the RCADS-25-P scale scores successfully discriminated between those with and without target problem diagnoses. In both samples, child-parent agreement indices were in the expected ranges. Normative data were also reported. The RCADS-25-P thus demonstrated robust psychometric properties across both a school and clinical sample as an effective brief screening instrument to assess for depression and anxiety in children and adolescents.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; short form; youth assessment.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / diagnosis*
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Schools
  • Young Adult