Children’s Depression Inventory
Psychological Tests and Measurements
January 18, 2011
Children’s Depression Inventory
The Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) is an inventory used in testing for affective, cognitive, and behavioral depression in children ages seven to seventeen (Frey, 2003). The inventory is self-reporting, making it a popular method because it is inexpensive and easy. The inventory is also quick to administer, interpret, and score. The inventory is administered by certain qualified individuals and in particular settings in which the measure would be appropriate to use. The measure is only valid in particular populations. The use of the CDI in testing for childhood depression is discussed in two articles. One article is titled “Children’s Depression Inventory: Construct and Discriminant Validity Across Clinical and Nonreferred (Control) Populations,” by Michael P. Carey, Michael E. Faulstich, Frank M. Gresham, Laurie Ruggiero, and Patience Enyart. The other article is titled “Use and Abuse of the Children’s Depression Inventory,” by Mary A. Fristad, Bret L. Emery, and Steven J. Beck. Uses of Children’s Depression Inventory
In these articles the tests were given using 153 child and adolescent psychiatric inpatients ages nine to seventeen of a random mix of age, race, and gender. To diagnose these children a variety of questions were asked and depending on the total of questions answered positively a diagnosis of depression was given. To diagnose clinical depression, multiple measurements must be used such as structured clinical interviews to provide a detailed assessment. The reason this method was developed was because it was difficult to diagnose depression in children and because until 1970, it was believed that depression was only an adult disorder. The reason depression was believed to be an adult disorder is because it was believed that the nervous systems of children were not mature enough to go through neurochemical changes related to depression. Both of these articles list questions that were asked to the subjects along with the data results with proof that the testing was done in a non-biased atmosphere.
Both articles point at the importance of CDI. The article by Fristan, Emery, and Beck (1997) considers the Self- report inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory as two important and useful methods and they describe CDI as best available normative data but not sufficient to have adequate sensitivity and specificity to assess depressive symptoms. Fristan et al. (1997) focus on importance of studies as well as limitations. The article indicates that 44% of studies by CDI show that participants with high scores are referred as depressed with no specific statement. The other article by Carey et al. (1987) analyzes CDI by investigation of two studies by Saylor, Finch, Spiritn, and Bennet (1984) and Kovacs (1985). The studies were conducted under the three- factor model. The two-factor model consists of the dimensions of Depressive affect and Oppositional Behavior with bearable internal density. The three –factor model with addition of Personal Adjustment, shows similarity between age specific basis of affective disorders and school performance that exposed low internal density. Moreover, gender differences affected results as well; girls had higher scores than boy, which indicate that further studies may consider gender differences as well. Furthermore, the non-referred group could not be distinguished from depressed group by two- model factors of the Depressive Affect and Oppositional Behavior factors. According to Carey et al. (1987) more accurate and specific CDI study must include other DSM-III disorder, such as anxiety or attention- deficit disorders; therefore, improved CDI studies must be conducted. Fristan et al. (1997) insist that CDI can be used to expose children’s self- report of dysphoria but not to diagnose. Fristan et al. (1997) claim that structured...
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