Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 137–151 | Cite as

Children’s Depression Screener (ChilD-S): Development and Validation of a Depression Screening Instrument for Children in Pediatric Care

  • Barbara Frühe
  • Antje-Kathrin Allgaier
  • Kathrin Pietsch
  • Martina Baethmann
  • Jochen Peters
  • Stephan Kellnar
  • Axel Heep
  • Stefan Burdach
  • Dietrich von Schweinitz
  • Gerd Schulte-Körne
Original Article


The aim of the present study was to develop and validate the Children’s Depression Screener (ChilD-S) for use in pediatric care. In two pediatric samples, children aged 9–12 (NI = 200; NII = 246) completed an explorative item pool (subsample I) and a revised item pool (subsample II). Diagnostic accuracy of each of the 22 items from the revised pool was evaluated in order to select the best items for the brief instrument ChilD-S. Areas under the curve (AUCs) of the revised item pool and the ChilD-S were compared. A diagnostic interview, the Kinder-DIPS, served as gold standard. For the purpose of screening for depressive disorders in children, the eight-item ChilD-S (AUC = 0.97) performed just as well as the revised 22-item pool (AUC = 0.94). For the ChilD-S the optimal cut-off point of ≥11 yielded a sensitivity of 0.91 and a specificity of 0.89. The ChilD-S shows high potential for depression screening of children in pediatric care.


Depression Children Screening Validation Pediatric care 



This project was funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health within the promotional emphasis of Gesund.Leben.Bayern. We thank all participating families, as well as the Department of Pediatrics of the Hospital “Harlaching”, the Department of Pediatric Surgery of the University Hospital “Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital”, the Departments of Pediatrics and Pediatric Surgery of the Hospital “Dritter Orden” and the Departments of Pediatric and Pediatric Surgery of the University Hospital “Schwabing”. We are very grateful to Anne Hoyler for her support in the organisation of the study and to Anna Maria O’Leary as well as to Calum Anderson for linguistic editing of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Frühe
    • 1
  • Antje-Kathrin Allgaier
    • 1
  • Kathrin Pietsch
    • 1
  • Martina Baethmann
    • 2
  • Jochen Peters
    • 2
  • Stephan Kellnar
    • 3
  • Axel Heep
    • 4
  • Stefan Burdach
    • 5
  • Dietrich von Schweinitz
    • 6
  • Gerd Schulte-Körne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsHospital “Dritter Orden”MunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric SurgeryHospital “Dritter Orden”MunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsHospital “Harlaching”MunichGermany
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsUniversity Hospital, Technical University MunichMunichGermany
  6. 6.Department of Pediatric SurgeryUniversity Hospital “Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital”, Ludwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany

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