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.
Derived from the adult YBOCS, the CY-BOCS is used with children and adolescents ages 6-14. It has gone through multiple revisions to be most useful as a research tool, including with specific populations (for example, a version measures OCD symptoms in children with autism). At least 5 different versions are available at various web sites, with different numbers of items, taking different times to complete.
Contact Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD
Mail: Child Study Center, 230 South Frontage Road, P.O. Box 207900, New Haven, CT 06520-7900
Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS)
This YBOCS is commonly used as a research tool for assessing obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and is used in adolescents older than age 14. Multiple versions of this instrument have evolved, so different forms appear at various web sites. In addition, a symptom checklist is available and can be used to identify target symptoms. The YBOCS rating scale is a gradated scale to measure the severity of OCD symptoms, and can be repeated to measure treatments and interventions.