A comparison of different diagnostic tools for childhood depression

Y. Kronenberg, R. Blumensohn, A. Apter

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ABSTRACT— A comparison was made of the agreement of 5 different diagnostic tools for childhood depression. The diagnostic tools used were: 1) a non‐directive interview with projective testing; 2) a semi‐structured psychiatric interview developed by Herjanic: 3) the child behaviour check list developed by Achenbach; 4) the Kovacs child depression inventory and 5) the DSM‐III criteria diagnosis. In the diagnostic tools using classic psychaitric techniques of interview there was a fairly high diagnostic agreement for depression, while the non‐interview techniques (questionnaires) were less reliable in diagnosing affective disorder. Depressive symptoms were found to play an important part in non‐affective disorder psychopathology in children. The good correlation between the standard intake procedure and the research methods is encouraging in that it seems that clinicians can make the diagnosis of childhood affective disorder in their everyday clinical work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1988


  • childhood
  • depression
  • diagnosis
  • interview


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