Objective: To describe the psychometric properties of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime version (K-SADS-PL) interview, which surveys additional disorders not assessed in prior K-SADS, contains improved probes and anchor points, includes diagnosis-specific impairment ratings, generates DSM-III-R and DSM-IV diagnoses, and divides symptoms surveyed into a screening interview and five diagnostic supplements.
Method: Subjects were 55 psychiatric outpatients and 11 normal controls (aged 7 through 17 years). Both parents and children were used as informants. Concurrent validity of the screen criteria and the K-SADS-PL diagnoses was assessed against standard self-report scales. Interrater (n = 15) and test-retest (n = 20) reliability data were also collected (mean retest interval: 18 days; range: 2 to 36 days).
Results: Rating scale data support the concurrent validity of screens and K-SADS-PL diagnoses. Interrater agreement in scoring screens and diagnoses was high (range: 93% to 100%). Test-retest reliability kappa coefficients were in the excellent range for present and/or lifetime diagnoses of major depression, any bipolar, generalized anxiety, conduct, and oppositional defiant disorder (.77 to 1.00) and in the good range for present diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (.63 to .67).
Conclusion: Results suggest the K-SADS-PL generates reliable and valid child psychiatric diagnoses.