Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 109–146

Depression in children and adolescents: Assessment issues and recommendations

  • Philip C. Kendall
  • Dennis P. Cantwell
  • Alan E. Kazdin

DOI: 10.1007/BF01173268

Cite this article as:
Kendall, P.C., Cantwell, D.P. & Kazdin, A.E. Cogn Ther Res (1989) 13: 109. doi:10.1007/BF01173268


Energized by renewed research and clinical activities, the current status of assessments of child and adolescent depression merits review. With a multidisciplinary perspective, the present review considers levels of depression, diagnostic criteria, classification systems, and the relationship of childhood/adolescent depression to adult depression. Methods for the measurement of child and adolescent depression are described and evaluated: child self-report, peer nominations, ratings by significant others, measures of overt behavior, physiological measures, projectives, and measures of constructs related to depression (e.g., self-esteem). The use of children as the source of assessment data, the degree of convergence across measures, and problems in discriminant validity are identified as pertinent assessment issues. Recommendations include use of measures with established norms, cut scores, multiple assessment methods and periods, and multiple gating.

Key words

depression childhood depression adolescent depression assessment issues research recommendations 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip C. Kendall
    • 1
  • Dennis P. Cantwell
    • 2
  • Alan E. Kazdin
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Neuropsychiatric InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburg School of MedicineUSA

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