Montez Vaughn


The Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) was designed as a screening measure to assess the severity of depressive symptomatology experienced by school-aged children. This study attempted to determine the discriminatory capacity of the CDI among clinical populations. The subjects included 115 children ages 7 to 17, 6 female, 109 male. Twenty-two were Caucasian, 63 were Hispanic, 26 were Black. The study population was primarily homogeneous for the diagnosis of Conduct Disorder, incarcerated adolescent males (ages 16 to 17), limiting generalizability and findings.

Total Scores were not found to discriminate depressed subjects from non-depressed subjects. Total Scores were found to distinguish incarcerated individuals receiving mental health treatment over incarcerated individuals not receiving mental health treatment, although those receiving treatment did not necessarily have diagnoses of depression. The majority of high scoring individuals also did not have diagnoses of depression. These results did not support discriminatory power of the CDI in terms of identifying depression in particular. However, these results did support sensitivity of the instrument in identifying children in need of mental health services. What specific diagnostic information is measured by the CDI remains in question.

Across subscales, a number of statistically significant differences were found but did not reflect practical, meaningful differences. The Anhedonia subscale mean score for the subject population with known history of suicide attempts was statistically significantly higher than those without such history and normal populations. Future research is recommended to explore the relationship of Anhedonia on suicidal behavior.

Confirmatory factor analyses of the scores produced by this population rendered an adequate fit to the factor structure delineated by the manual. Good internal consistency was supported by reliability analysis (alpha = .82) and only one cross-loading was indicated. The items loading onto the Ineffectiveness subscale produced very weak pathway coefficients. The effect of the primary diagnostic category of Conduct Disorder is discussed as a logical reason for the poor fit of this factor.

Future research is recommended relative to the discriminatory capacity of the CDI with clinical populations, particularly with more diverse demographics and diagnostic categories, and with particular scrutiny on diagnostic methods for inclusion criteria.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Matt Riggs

Second Advisor

Todd Burley

Third Advisor

Kiti Freier

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Child Behavior Disorder -- diagnosis; Child Behavior Disorder -- psychology; Depression; Adolescent Psychology.



Page Count

ix; 64

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives