Depression in children : issues in assessment via self and parent report



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The current study utilized a sample of 38 clinic and 25 nonclinic 8 to 12 year old children and their parents to examine assessment issues of childhood depression including 1) depressive symptomatology observed in children, 2) inter-instrument correspondence between the Children's Depression Inventory and the Kiddie-SADS, and 3) inter-informant correspondence between child, father, and mother reports. These results indicate that 42% of the clinic children and no nonclinic children met D5M III depression criteria. Very few depressive symptoms were reported in the nonclinic group. Symptoms most frequently reported by all informants in the clinic group were psychomotor agitation or retardation, cognitive symptoms of depression, and poor concentration. Kappa coefficients revealed a low to moderate degree of correspondence between each depression item and the diagnosis, except for a high correspondence in the case of the dysphoric mood. In the clinic sample, inter-instrument correspondence between the GDI and the Kiddie-SADS was in the moderate range for approximately one half of the symptoms, and in the low range for one half. Inter-instrument correspondence in the nonclinic sample was generally low. Inter-informant agreement among family members was low for most depressive symptoms and for the depression diagnosis. Mothers reported more depressive symptoms in their children than did fathers or children. Finally, there was no relationship between level of parental depression (according to Beck Depression Inventory scores) and discrepancies in parent and clinician's rating of the child's depression.



Depression in children, Child psychiatry