Overview

The Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS), adapted from the Global Assessment Scale for adults, is a rating of functioning aimed at children and young people aged 6-17 years old. The child or young person is given a single score between 1 and 100, based on a clinician’s assessment of a range of aspects related to a child's psychological and social functioning. The score will put them in one of ten categories that range from ‘extremely impaired’ (1-10) to ‘doing very well’ (91-100).

Property Definiton CGAS
Reliability Degree to which respondents in a similar sample had similar scores Early research found the CGAS to be reliable between raters and across time (Shaffer et al., 1983)
Test-retest reliability Degree to which the same respondents have the same score after period of time when trait shouldn't have changed No information available
Concurrent validity Correlation of the measure with others measuring the same concept Early research on the CGAS demonstrated good concurrent validity when tested on children (Shaffer et al., 1983)
Discriminant validity Lack of correlation with opposite concepts The authors report evidence of discriminative validity (Measure Profile, 2012)


Populations

The CGAS is aimed at children and young people under 18 years old and is completed by clinicians. The CGAS has been modified for use with children with developmental disabilities (DD-CGAS). Scientific investigators and licensed clinicians may print and copy this instrument as needed.

There is also a version of the CGAS for parent-infant relationships, the PIRGAS.

Translation

The CGAS has been translated into English, Spanish, and Swedish.

Administration

There is one item on the CGAS. The clinician needs to gather information from prior assessments, and interviews with the child, parent and school. Global functioning is then assessed on a scale from 0 to 100, broken down into categories. 

More details on administering, scoring and interpreting the Developmental Disability-Children’s Global Assessment Scale (DD-CGAS) can be found in this article.

Scoring and Interpretation

The CGAS can be scored manually or online using the CORC/Youthinmind database. 

Ratings can be at ten increment points or as an actual score (e.g. 53).

The following score ranges are defined:

  • 0-10: Extremely impaired (24 hour care)
  • 11-20: Very severely impaired
  • 21-30: Severe problems
  • 31-40: Serious problems
  • 41-50: Obvious problems
  • 51-60: Some noticeable problems
  • 61-70: Some problems
  • 71-80: Doing all right
  • 81-90: Doing well
  • 91-100: Doing very well

Guide on the scoring and interpretation of the CGAS.

Terms of use

If you are planning to use this measure for the delivery and improvement of health and/or social care, a license to incorporate it into electronic systems can be obtained from NHS Digital. Please note that licenses obtained via this route may be restricted to particular territory (e.g. England, UK). If planning to use the measure outside of England, you may wish to contact NHS Digital to clarify the geographical scope of the licence.

Further information 

Training Handouts

References

Measure Profile: Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). (2012). Retrieved from: http://www.excellenceforchildandyouth.ca/support-tools/measure-profile?id=77 

Shaffer, D., Gould, M.S., Brasic, J., Ambrosini, P., Fisher, P., Bird, H., & Aluwahlia, S. (1983). A Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). Archives of General Psychiatry, 40, 1228-1231.

Please note that the information on this page was last updated in April 2017.