Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties of the Children's Depression Inventory in Community and Clinical Sample

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties of the Children's Depression Inventory in Community and Clinical Sample

Article excerpt

The psychometric characteristics of the Children's Depression Inventory, CDI (Kovacs, 1992) in a sample of 1705 participants (792 boys and 913 girls) and a clinical sample of 102 participants (42 boys and 60 girls) between 10 and 18 years old are presented. Reliability coefficients range, for both samples, from .82 (test) to .84 (retest) in the community sample, and .85 (test, clinical sample); test-retest reliability is .81 in the community sample. The mean scores are similar to other Spanish and English ones. Girls score higher than boys. The cut-off point that best differentiates between depressive and community participants is 19, with a sensitivity of 94.7%, a specificity of 95.6%, a positive predictive value of .90, and a negative predictive value of .98.

Keywords:depressive symptoms, assessment, childhood and adolescence, psychometric study, CDI.

Se presentan las propiedades psicométricas del Children's Depresión Inventory, CDI (Kovacs, 1992) en una muestra comunitaria de 1.705 participantes (792 chicos y 913 chicas) y en una muestra clínica de 102 participantes (42 chicos y 60 chicas) con edades comprendidas entre los 10 y los 18 años. La fiabilidad del CDI es elevada para ambas muestras: consistencia interna entre 0.82 (test) y 0.84 (retest) en muestra comunitaria, y de 0.85 (test, muestra clínica); la correlación test-retest es de 0.81 en la muestra comunitaria. Las puntuaciones medias son similares a las encontradas en otras muestras españolas y anglosajonas. En general, las mujeres obtienen puntuaciones superiores a los varones. El punto de corte que mejor discrimina entre los participantes diagnosticados de depresión y el grupo comunitario de contraste es 19, con una sensibilidad de 94.7%, una especificidad del 95.6%, un valor predictivo positivo de 0.90 y un valor predictivo negativo de 0.98.

Palabras clave: síntomas depresivos, evaluación, infancia y adolescencia, estudio psicométrico, CDI.

Depression is expressed through a series of symptoms that include loss of interest in activities normally performed, low self-esteem, social isolation, fatigue, crying, sleep and eating disorders, and self-defeating impulses. In children and adolescents, irritability, difficulties to interact effectively with classmates and family members, behavior problems, cognitive alterations, and decreased academic performance are also observed.

The clinical assessment of depression takes place in various phases: diagnosis and prognosis, treatment, follow-up, and evaluation of treatment efficacy (Klein, Dougherty, & Olino, 2005). Self-reports are useful instruments both for diagnoses and to appraise treatment efficacy (Lewinsohn, Rohde, & Seely, 1998). The Children's Depression Inventory (CDI; Kovacs, 1992) is one of the most frequently used self-reports for the assessment of depressive symptomatology in infancy and adolescence. The CDI was created from the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, 1978) to be administered to children and adolescents of school age. Kovacs carried out two preliminary versions of the CDI in 1975 and 1976, in which she modified the scoring, the content, and the drafting of the items. The definite version was published in 1977 (Kovacs, 1992). The test manual was published in 1992 and it includes the author's own psychometric data of CDI studies and a review of other authors' studies. In 2004, the Spanish adaptation of the CDI was published (del Barrio & Carrasco, 2004).

The CDI is recommended to be administered from 7 to 17 years of age. The raw score of 20 was established by Kovacs (1992) as the cut-off point. In other studies carried out with Spanish children and adolescents, the cut-off point was reduced to 19 (del Barrio & Carrasco, 2004) or to 17 (Canals, Martí-Henneberg, Fernández-Ballart, & Doménech, 1995). In a clinical sample of Puerto Rican adolescents, Rivera, Bernal, and Rosselló (2005) found that the cut-off point that best identifies the participants with depression disorder is 20. …

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