Correspondence Between Teacher Ratings of Childhood Depression and Child Self-ratings

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Previous research has reported a low correspondence between teacher ratings and child self-ratings of depression. It was hypothesized that this finding was due to the teachers using a single, global rating which masked knowledge of more specific symptoms of depression in children. Twelve elementary school teachers rated 62 male and female elementary school children on affective, cognitive, motivational/withdrawal, and vegetative symptoms of depression. Students completed the Childhood Depression Inventory (CDI). Items of the CDI were divided into affective, cognitive, motivational/withdrawal, and vegetative categories. Correlations between teacher ratings and CDI component scores were either nonsignificant or were in the opposite direction predicted. Results are discussed in terms of possible reasons for the poor correspondence between teacher and child ratings.

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Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, v. 14, p. 353-355