A psychometric evaluation of the CDRS and MADRS in assessing depressive symptoms in children

Shailesh Jain, Thomas J. Carmody, Madhukar H. Trivedi, Carroll Hughes, Ira H. Bernstein, David W. Morris, Graham J. Emslie, A. John Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study compared the psychometric properties of the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) in children with major depressive disorder. METHOD: Children (N = 96; ages 8 to 11 years inclusive) with nonpsychotic major depressive disorder were enrolled. Participants were part of a multisite, outpatient, randomized, placebo-controlled, 9-week trial of fluoxetine (10 mg/day for the first week and 20 mg/day thereafter). The CDRS-R and MADRS were completed based on clinician interviews with both parents and children. Classic test theory and item response theory analyses were conducted. RESULTS: The MADRS and CDRS-R total scores were correlated at baseline (r = 0.51) and at study exit (r = 0.85). Cronbach's α was .86 (CDRS-R) and .82 (MADRS) at exit. The effect sizes for change from baseline to exit between the fluoxetine and placebo groups were 0.78 (CDRS-R) and 0.61 (MADRS). There was agreement between the CDRS-R and MADRS in the declaration of treatment response (50% improvement from baseline to exit) in 84.2% of children. Test information function favored the CDRS-R. CONCLUSIONS: The CDRS-R showed greater effect size for differentiating drug and placebo and better test information than the MADRS in this study of depressed children. Copyright 2007

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1204-1212
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Child Depression Rating Scale-Revised
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Major depression
  • Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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