Anxiety and depression are internalizing mental disorders often commencing in childhood and manifesting in adolescence. The Revised Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) is an internationally widely used standardized diagnostic tool, but the German version has only been validated in a pediatric chronic pain sample; normative data are not available. The aim of this study is to test its reliability (internal consistency) and validity (factorial, convergent, known-groups) in a representative German school sample and to provide norm data.
Data were collected from N = 1562 German schoolchildren (M
age = 12.2; SD
age = 2.33; range 8–17 years; 52.4% girls).
Cronbach’s α ranged from 0.73 to 0.96 for the total and the six subscales (five anxiety and one depression). Confirmatory factor analysis showed the 6-factor model had acceptable to good model fit with CFI = 0.93, TLI = 0.93, RMSEA = 0.05, SRMR = 0.05, which was better than 1- and 2-factor models. The (sub)scales correlated moderate to high negatively with health-related quality of life (−0.31 ≤ τ ≤ −0.51; p < 0.001) and positively with functional impairment (0.31 ≤ τ ≤ 0.48; p < 0.001). Mean scores of anxiety and depression scales were significantly higher in girls and partly in adolescents.
Findings provide support for the good psychometric properties of the German RCADS in a community sample.