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Bipolar Disorder Detail
The scales described below can help identify a variety of symptoms affecting children and adolescents. Do not assume that a particular "score" on any rating scale or screening tool means a child has a particular disorder-these instruments are only one component of an evaluation. Diagnoses should be made only by a trained clinician after a thorough assessment. Symptoms suggestive of suicidal or harmful behaviors warrant immediate attention by a trained clinician.

Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS)

The YMRS is an 11-item scale used to assess the severity of mania in children and adolescents ages 5-17. It takes 15-30 minutes to complete. The YMRS has been used in clinical practice since 1978. Ratings are based on child/adolescent self-reporting and clinician observation. This instrument does not assess depressed mood.

The rating scale can be accessed free online at:
Parent Version of the Young Mania Rating Scale (P-YMRS)
Parent Teacher

This 11- item scale, used for assessing children and adolescents ages 5-17, was adapted from the clinician version of the YMRS. It allows parents to rate the severity of manic symptoms and is useful in measuring the impact of interventions. The scale takes about 5 minutes to complete. Although developed for parents, teachers can complete the P-YMRS, substituting the word "student" in each item where the word "child" appears.

The P-YMRS is available free online at:
General Behavior Inventory (GBI)

This 73-item, self-report screen can be completed by children or adolescents as young as age 11. Subjects rate their own symptoms for hypomanic/alternating mood. This tool can be useful for distinguishing mania from other disorders.

The GBI is available free online at:

Parent Version, General Behavior Inventory (P-GBI)

This screening tool was adapted from the General Behavior Inventory, and allows parents to rate depressive, hypomanic, manic, and alternating mood symptoms in their children and adolescents ages 5-17. The P-GBI is primarily used in research contexts and so is less commonly used in general settings.

If a clinician encourages use of this specific scale, it is available from the author, Dr. Eric A. Youngstrom (e-mail:
Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (Kiddie-SADS)

Developed from the adult interview Schizophrenia and Affective Disorder Scales, the semi-structured versions are: K-SADS-E (Epidemiologic) and K-SADS-PL (Present and Lifetime). This interview is primarily for use in research settings, and is to be administered by a clinician trained in its use, so it will rarely be used in ordinary clinical settings. It covers a broad spectrum of most child psychiatric diagnoses, with the exception of Pervasive Development Disorders and personality disorders. It is used with children ages 6-18. For younger children it is recommended that a single clinician interview parent(s) first, then repeat the interview with the child. For teenagers, it is recommended that the teenager be interviewed first. The scale includes questions about school performance and other issues relevant to children and adolescents.

It takes 90-120 minutes to administer and can be accessed at:

Weinberg Screening Affective Scale (WSAS)

The WSAS is a free, 56-item, self-report scale that children/adolescents ages 7-17 can complete in 5 minutes.

It can be found in Appendix A (close to the end of the chapter) at: (scroll down to Appendix A to view WSAS)
Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ)

This 15-item yes/no tool addresses mood symptoms. Although developed for adults, adolescents older than age 12 can answer the MDQ. It can also be repeated to measure improvement following treatments.

It takes 5-10 minutes to complete and is available free online at:
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