(CDI 2) Children's Depression Inventory, Second Edition

by Maria Kovacs, PhD

(CDI 2) Children's Depression Inventory, Second Edition

by Maria Kovacs, PhD
Benefits Measures cognitive, affective, and behavioral signs of depression
Ages 7 to 17 years
Admin time 5-15 minutes; 5-10 minutes for Short Form
Format Self-report, teacher report, and parent report
Norms Based on a nationally representative sample of 1,100 children and teens from 26 U.S. states, with equal numbers of males and females at each age level
Qualifications Level C required.
About Qualification Levels
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About This Product

Picture of (CDI 2) Children's Depression Inventory, Second Edition

This popular scale measures cognitive, affective, and behavioral symptoms of depression in school-aged children and adolescents. The new second edition retains the best features of its predecessor while introducing a number of important refinements.

New to the Second Edition

The CDI 2 includes the following enhancements:

  • New items focusing on the core aspects of childhood depression
  • Revised scales that are more reliable and valid
  • Updated norms that are more representative of the U.S. population

The three forms comprising the inventory—Self-Report, Teacher Report, and Parent Report—accurately assess the presence and severity of depressive symptoms.

Three Perspectives for a Complete Picture

Requiring only a first-grade reading level, the Self-Report Form includes 28 items, each with three response options. The child simply marks the choice that best describes his or her feelings or behavior over the past 2 weeks. This usually requires less than 15 minutes.    

The Self-Report Form provides a Total Score plus scores for the following scales and subscales:


  • Emotional Problems
  • Functional Problems


  • Negative Mood
  • Interpersonal Problems
  • Ineffectiveness
  • Anhedonia
  • Negative Self-Esteem

If your time with the child is limited, you can use the Short Form, which includes 12 items and gives you a Total Score comparable to that generated by the full-length Self-Report.

Parent and Teacher Reports provide additional information about the child’s depressive symptoms. The parent form asks the mother or father to rate the child on items dealing with home and family situations over the previous 2 weeks. The teacher form focuses instead on the child’s academic, social, and emotional behavior in the classroom over the same period. Both forms yield a Total Score and two scale scores: Emotional Problems and Functional Problems.

Computer Scoring and Three Useful Interpretive Reports

While the CDI 2 can be hand-scored in just 10 minutes, computer scoring offers even greater speed and accuracy. The CDI 2 scoring program lets you enter responses from a paper-and-pencil administration and then generate up to three useful reports:

Assessment Report presents detailed results from one administration

Progress Report shows change over time, reviewing results from up to four administrations

Comparative Report documents symptoms reported by up to five different raters, highlighting interrater score discrepancies

Current, Representative Norms

The CDI 2 Self-Report was standardized on a sample of 1,100 children, ages 7 to 17 years, from 26 states in the U.S. The sample is evenly proportioned in regard to age and gender, with 50 males and 50 females at each age level. The racial/ethnic distribution and geographic representation reflect U.S. Census distribution. 

Also reported are data from a clinical sample of 319 youngsters diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Ideal for Screening, Measuring Symptom Severity, and Monitoring Change

The CDI 2 discriminates children with major depressive or dysthymic disorders from normal students and from those with other psychiatric conditions. It is a good measure of symptom severity and is sensitive to changes in depression over time. Efficient and cost-effective, the CDI 2 is ideal whenever you need to quickly screen children for depression and related problems.