Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 704-704

Global Assessment of Functioning Scales

  • Lori J. WarnerAffiliated withBeaumont Children’s Hospital, Center for Human Development


CGAS; C-GAS; Children’s global functioning; GAF; GAPD; Social adjustment


Global assessment of functioning scales are intended for use by mental health professionals to rate the overall functioning of their patients, taking into account occupational/school, social, and psychological symptoms.


There is consensus that clinical indices of overall functioning have utility in treatment of mental illness and impairment [3]. Functional impairment is often the impetus for clinical referral and entry into treatment [4]. Additionally, global assessment scales allow clinicians to integrate information from many areas of the patient’s functioning into one clinically meaningful index [2]. This information can then be used in planning treatment and evaluating outcome of interventions.

The Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF; [1]), the Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS; [2]), and the Global Assessment of Psychosocial Disability (GAP ...

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