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J Affect Disord. 2017 Aug 15;218:153-169. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.04.022. Epub 2017 Apr 20.

The Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale: A systematic review and reliability generalization meta-analysis.

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Miguel Hernandez University, Spain.
Miguel Hernandez University, Spain. Electronic address:
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain.



Anxiety and depression are among the most common mental disorders during childhood and adolescence. Among the instruments for the brief screening assessment of symptoms of anxiety and depression, the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) is one of the more widely used. Previous studies have demonstrated the reliability of the RCADS for different assessment settings and different versions. The aims of this study were to examine the mean reliability of the RCADS and the influence of the moderators on the RCADS reliability.


We searched in EBSCO, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and NCBI databases and other articles manually from lists of references of extracted articles.


A total of 146 studies were included in our meta-analysis. The RCADS showed robust internal consistency reliability in different assessment settings, countries, and languages. We only found that reliability of the RCADS was significantly moderated by the version of RCADS. However, these differences in reliability between different versions of the RCADS were slight and can be due to the number of items.


We did not examine factor structure, factorial invariance across gender, age, or country, and test-retest reliability of the RCADS.


The RCADS is a reliable instrument for cross-cultural use, with the advantage of providing more information with a low number of items in the assessment of both anxiety and depression symptoms in children and adolescents.


Adolescents; Children; Meta-analysis; Reliability generalization meta-analysis; Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale; Systematic review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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