by William M. Reynolds, PhD
Purpose: Identify depressive symptoms in adolescents
Age: 11 through to 20 years
Admin: Individual or group
Time: 5-10 minutes
Qualification Level: A
The original RADS has been used by thousands of clinicians, school personnel, and researchers to evaluate depression in adolescents in the U.S. and over 30 other countries.
The RADS-2 is a brief, 30-item self-report measure that includes subscales which evaluate the current level of an adolescent's depressive symptomatology along four basic dimensions of depression: Dysphoric Mood, Anhedonia/Negative Affect, Negative Self-Evaluation, and Somatic Complaints. Interpretation of these four subscales is based on both the nature of the depression domain and the item content of the subscale.
The RADS-2 standard (T) scores and associated clinical cutoff score provide the clinician or researcher with an indication of the clinical severity of the individual's depressive symptoms (normal, mild, moderate, or severe). Scores are plotted on a Summary/Profile Form, allowing comparison of elevations across subscales. Examining item endorsement levels within elevated subscales can provide further information about the nature of an adolescent's reported symptomatology.
In addition to the four subscale scores, the RADS-2 yields a Depression Total score that represents the overall severity of depressive symptomatology. An empirically derived clinical cutoff score helps to identify adolescents who may be at risk for a depressive disorder or a related disorder. Data demonstrate the ability of this cutoff score to discriminate between adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder and an age- and gender-matched control group. The six RADS-2 critical items are those that have been identified as being most predictive of a depressive disorder diagnosis.
The RADS-2 Includes the Following New Features:
- Restandardised with a new school-based sample of 3,300 adolescents that was stratified to reflect the 2000 U.S. Census data for gender and ethnicity.
- Expanded age range includes individuals ages 11-20 years.
- Four factorially derived subscales reflect four basic domains of adolescent depression.
- Updated normative tables provide standard (T) scores in addition to percentile ranks for the Depression Total scale and four subscales.
- New Professional Manual provides a comprehensive literature review.
- Case studies illustrate expanded interpretation of subscale and Depression Total scale scores.
- Carbonless, hand-scorable Test Booklet facilitates scoring and interpretation.
Reliability and Validity
Comprehensive data are presented to demonstrate the reliability and validity of the RADS-2. Reliability data (internal consistency, test-retest, and SEMs) are presented for the Depression Total scale and the four subscales. Validity of the RADS-2 was examined from a number of perspectives: content validity, criterion-related validity, construct validity (convergent, discriminant, and factorial), and clinical validity. Reliability and validity studies included a school-based sample of over 9,000 adolescents and a clinical sample of 297 adolescents with DSM-III-R™ or DSM-IV™ diagnoses who were evaluated in both school and clinical settings. Extensive documentation of reliability and validity evidence for the RADS collected by the author and other researchers over a 20-year period is also presented.
RADS-2 Professional Manual and Components
The RADS-2 Professional Manual provides information regarding the development of the original RADS and the extensive research that led to development of the RADS-2. The RADS-2 restandardisation sample included 3,300 adolescents, ages 11-20 years, from school settings in the U.S. and Canada. Normative data (T scores and percentile ranks) are provided for the entire sample, as well as by gender, by age group (11-13 years, 14-16 years, and 17-20 years), and by gender for the three age groups. Each age group included 1,100 participants; males and females were equally represented. The sample was ethnically diverse, reflecting the 2000 U.S. Census data. The Manual also provides two case examples to illustrate appropriate interpretation of test results.
RADS-2 materials consist of the Professional Manual; a carbonless, hand-scorable Test Booklet; and the Summary/Profile Form. The RADS-2 items are written at a 3rd-grade reading level and are worded in the present tense to elicit current symptom status. Symptom content is consistent with a wide range of expert systems and sources (e.g., DSM-IV, ICD-10).