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The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA).

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



To describe the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA). The base interview covers the age range from 9 to 17 years.


The interview glossary that provides detailed operational definitions of symptoms and severity ratings is described, and psychometric data and further developments of the interview are presented.


Across 5,962 parent-child interviews, the core sections of the CAPA (psychiatric symptoms, functional impairment, demographics, family structure and functioning) took on average 59 minutes for children and 66 minutes for parents. Test-retest reliability for diagnoses ranged from kappa = 0.55 for conduct disorder (CD) to kappa = 1.0 for substance abuse/dependence. Validity as judged by 10 different criteria was good. Developments of the CAPA include a shorter "gateway" version using core symptoms as screen items, a Spanish version, and versions for twin studies, use with young adults (YAPA), and preschool-age children (PAPA).


There is a place in both research and clinical settings for a rigorously operationalized interview (such as the CAPA) that focuses on ensuring that respondents understand what is being asked and on clearly defining levels of symptom severity and functional impairment.

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