Psy-World

Center for Epidemiologic Studies
Depression Scale for Children
(CES-DC)

printable version
Original references:

Weissman MM, Orvaschel H, Padian N. 1980. Children’s symptom and social functioning self-report scales: Comparison of mothers’ and children’s reports. Journal of Nervous Mental Disorders 168(12):736–740.

Faulstich ME, Carey MP, Ruggiero L, et al. 1986. Assessment of depression in childhood and adolescence: An evaluation of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC). American Journal of Psychiatry 143(8):1024–1027.

The CES-DC is a brief questionnaire that assesses the frequency and duration of the symptoms associated with depression in children and adolescents. As with other self-assessment depression scales, the CES-CD should not be viewed as a diagnostic tool, but rather as a screening test to identify individuals or groups at risk for depression.
 
For the 20 items below, circle the number next to each item that best reflects how frequently the indicated event was experienced in the past week.

DURING THE PAST WEEK:  

Not at all
A little
Some
A lot

1. I was bothered by things that usually don’t bother me.

0
1
2
3

2. I didn't feel like eating; I wasn't very hungry.

0
1
2
3

3. I wasn’t able to feel happy, even when my family or friends tried to help me feel better.

0
1
2
3

4. I felt that I was just as good as other kids.

3
2
1
0

5. I felt like I couldn’t pay attention to what I was doing.

0
1
2
3

6. I felt down and unhappy.

0
1
2
3

7. I felt like I was too tired to do things.

0
1
2
3

8. I felt like something good was going to happen.

3
2
1
0

9. I felt like things I did before didn’t work out right.

0
1
2
3

10. I felt scared.

0
1
2
3

11. I didn’t sleep as well as usual.

0
1
2
3

12. I was happy.

3
2
1
0

13. I was more quiet than usual.

0
1
2
3

14. I felt lonely, like I didn’t have any friends.

0
1
2
3

15. I felt like kids I know were not friendly or that they didn’t want to be with me.

0
1
2
3

16. I had a good time

3
2
1
0

17. I felt like crying.

0
1
2
3

18. I felt sad.

0
1
2
3

19. I felt people didn’t like me.

0
1
2
3

20. It was hard to get started doing things.

0
1
2
3

Scoring: Note that items 4, 8, 12, and 16 reflect positive experiences and are noted oppositely to the other items. To determine the "depression score," add together the numbers for each answer. Possible scores range from 0 to 60. A score of 15 or more indicates significant levels of depressive symptoms.

 


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