Overview

The Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) and the RCADS – Parent Version (RCADS-P) are 47-item questionnaires that measure the reported frequency of various symptoms of anxiety and low mood. They produce a total anxiety and low mood score and separate scores for each of the follow sub-scales: separation anxiety; social phobia; generalised anxiety; panic; obsessive compulsive; total anxiety; and, low mood.

RCADS and the RCADS-P can be used for tracking symptoms as well as providing additional information for assessment. The tool can be useful in highlighting specific issues, such as separation anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder, where the initial difficulty seems to be a more general one, such as generalised anxiety or low mood.

Psychometric properties

Property Definition RCADS
Reliability Degree to which respondents in a similar sample had similar scores Both the subscales and the total scale have good reliability (Chorpita et al., 2005)
Test-retest reliability Degree to which the same respondents have the same score after period of time when trait shouldn’t have changed One week test-retest coefficients were good (Chorpita et al., 2000)
Concurrent validity Correlation of the measure with others measuring the same concept RCADS has good concurrent validity with the Children’s Depression Inventory and with the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale (Chorpita et al., 2005)
Discriminant validity Lack of correlation with opposite concepts RCADS has good discriminant validity; all correlations with child and parent rated oppositional behaviours non-significant and close to zero (Chorpita et al., 2005)

 
Populations

The RCADS can be completed by young people aged from 8 to 18 years and the RCADS-P can also be completed by the parent or carer of young people aged across the same age groups. Clinical experience indicates that RCADS is too developmentally advanced for use with young people with learning disabilities, but has been found to be useful for some CYP with mild learning difficulties (Law & Wolpert, 2014).

Translation

The RCADS is available in English, Spanish (US), Spanish (Spain), Chinese, Dutch, Danish, French and Korean; and the RCADS-P is available in English, Spanish (US), Dutch, Danish and Korean. Currently, norms and scoring programs for both the RCADS and RCADS-P are based on English versions. Use of norms and interpretation of T-scores should be done cautiously with non-English versions.

Translated versions available here.

Administration

The questionnaire takes between five and ten minutes to administer. Both parent and child questionnaires can be given to the appropriate respondent to complete themselves. Alternatively, in order to ensure that each item is understood by the respondent, or to gain additional information about each response, the questionnaires can be administered directly by the clinician who can ask follow-up questions.

Subscales

Scoring

The RCADS and the RCADS-P can be scored using spreadsheets available from the developer. The young person’s equivalent US School Grade must be entered, which is grade one below the UK school year. A "t-score" of 65 means that the score is roughly in the top 7% of scores of un-referred young people of the same age (described as borderline clinical by the developer) and a score of 70 means that the score is roughly in the top 2% of scores of un-referred young people of the same age (described as the clinical threshold by the developer). The measures can also be scored by hand following the instructions on the Scoring Aids for the RCADS and RCADS-P (above).

Interpretation

The ‘clinical thresholds’ for the overall score were established using the anxiety disorders interview schedule for DSM-IV, child and parent versions (ADIS-IV-C/P; Silverman & Albano, 1996) as a comparison(Chorpita et al., 2005). The thresholds for sub-scales are set using normative data.

Terms of use

The RCADS and its derivative works (inclusive of translations) are copyrighted by its developers (Chorpita, Ebesutani). They are available for use through Dr. Chorpita’s UCLA resource page. Any use of these instruments implies that the user has read and agreed to the terms of use.

Further information

Child First

References

Chorpita, B. F., Yim, L. M., Moffitt, C. E., Umemoto L. A., & Francis, S. E. (2000). Assessment of symptoms of DSM-IV anxiety and depression in children: A Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 835-855.

Chorpita, B. F., Moffitt, C., & Gray, J. (2005). Psychometric properties of the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale in a clinical sample. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, 309-322.

Law, D., & Wolpert, M. (2014). Guide to using outcomes and feedback tools with children, young people and families. UK: Press CAMHS.

Silverman, W., & Albano, A. (1996). The Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children–IV (Child and parent versions). San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.

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