Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 365–377

The Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ): A Unidimensional Item Response Theory and Categorical Data Factor Analysis of Self-Report Ratings from a Community Sample of 7-through 11-Year-Old Children


DOI: 10.1007/s10802-006-9027-x

Cite this article as:
Sharp, C., Goodyer, I.M. & Croudace, T.J. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2006) 34: 365. doi:10.1007/s10802-006-9027-x

Item response theory (IRT) and categorical data factor analysis (CDFA) are complementary methods for the analysis of the psychometric properties of psychiatric measures that purport to measure latent constructs. These methods have been applied to relatively few child and adolescent measures. We provide the first combined IRT and CDFA analysis of a clinical measure (the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire—SMFQ) in a community sample of 7-through 11-year-old children. Both latent variable models supported the internal construct validity of a single underlying continuum of severity of depressive symptoms. SMFQ items discriminated well at the more severe end of the depressive latent trait. Item performance was not affected by age, although age correlated significantly with latent SMFQ scores suggesting that symptom severity increased within the age period of 7–11. These results extend existing psychometric studies of the SMFQ and confirm its scaling properties as a potential dimensional measure of symptom severity of childhood depression in community samples.


Screening childhood depression SMFQ item response theory categorical data factor analysis 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla Sharp
    • 1
    • 4
  • Ian M. Goodyer
    • 2
  • Tim J. Croudace
    • 3
  1. 1.Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Developmental Psychiatry SectionUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  4. 4.Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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