Obsessive-Compulsive 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.

Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS)

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
Email: lawrence.scahill@yale.edu
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.

A YBOCS symptom checklist and YBOCS rating scale are available for free at:
http://library.umassmed.edu/ementalhealth/clinical/  select under “Clinician-Administered Tests.”


Disclaimer. This document is intended to provide general educational information concerning mental health and health care resources. This information is not an attempt to practice medicine or to provide specific medical advice, and should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider's judgment. The reader is advised to exercise judgment when making decisions and to consult with a qualified health care professional with respect to individual situations and for answers to personal questions.

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2010 Massachusetts General Hospital, School Psychiatry Program and Mood & Anxiety Disorders Institute Resource Center