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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2004 Mar;33(1):149-57.

Assessing depression in youth: relation between the Children's Depression Inventory and a structured interview.

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Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology, Ghent University, Belgium.


This study examined the utility of the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) for predicting a diagnosis of a depressive disorder derived from the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed. [DSM-IV], American Psychiatric Association, 1994) Child Edition (KID-SCID). The participants were 80 referred children and adolescents with a mean age of 12.21 years (range = 8 to 18 years). A categorical approach by means of a receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to examine the adequacy of cutoff scores for screening purposes. The results indicated that for the suggested cutoff scores of 13 and 19, the CDI has satisfactory ROCs. A cutoff score of 16 showed an optimal relation between sensitivity and specificity. The results from logistic regression indicated that the CDI total score is predictive of a depressive disorder. The CDI also differentiated a depressive disorder from an anxiety disorder and a disruptive behavior disorder. Those results provide support for the usefulness of the CDI as a screening tool for detecting depressive disorders in children and adolescents.

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