About Me (Reynolds Child Depression Scale)

The Reynolds Child Depression Scale (RCDS, also called the 'About Me' questionnaire) is a 30 item self-report measure of depressive symptoms developed by Reynolds (1989a, 1989b).


The Reynolds Child Depression Scale (RCDS, also called the "About Me" questionnaire), was administered as part of the summer child interview for the first time in Year 4 of the Fast Track Project. The RCDS is a 30-item self-report measure of depressive symptoms developed by Reynolds (1989a, 1989b). The items assess symptoms of depression from the criteria listed from major depression and dysthymia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Third Edition-Revised (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association). All but one of the items assesses clinically relevant depressive symptoms on a4-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1="almost never" to 4="all the time." (The items on the Fast Track scan form ranged from 0 to 3; thus, a constant of 1 was added to each of the item scores in order to make the scale similar to the original version). The last item consists of 4 (the original scale has 5) “smiley" faces ranging from sad to happy. Items 1, 5, 10, 12, 23, 25, and 30 were reversed scored so that higher scores on each item reflect higher levels of depressive symptoms. Item means, standard deviations, sample sizes, and factor loadings are listed in Table 1. These items were based upon the 340 subjects from the Normative sample who had at least some data from the About Me questionnaire.

The internal consistency reliability of the RCDS for normative sample, high-risk sample, pooled sample (normal + high-risk), and for various subsamples by 4 sites and by treatments, was computed using Cronbach's (1951) a. For the 30 items of the RCDS in the normative sample (Table 2), Cronbach's a = 0.88, which implies a high level of internal consistency. Table 2 shows that reliability coefficients by sites were uniformly high and range from 0.86 to 0.92 in normative sample. A pattern of high internal consistency for children depression shown in Table 5 and 6 for all groups, ranging from 0.83 to 0.89 in high-risk group (Table 5), and ranging from 0.84 to 0.89 in pooled sample (Table 6).

It is recommended that analysts carefully consider the construct of interest for the specific analysis before casually using the 30-item scale. Also, analysts should be aware of possible skewed distributional issues, particularly in the normal sample. The 30 items possess good reliability-high Cronbach's alpha.

Dataset Names

Raw Dataset Name: CyG
Scored Dataset Name: AMEySCc


Depression, Worry, Attention, Affective, Self Esteem.