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Measurement Tools

As part of the research dimension to working therapeutically with children and young people, it might be appropriate to use a measurement tool as part of the assessment. Below is a selection of different tools to support your work.


There are many different tools out there, but not all are validated. For research to have more credibility it is important to use validated outcome measures. These must be used as they are as adapting them invalidates the measure.

Whilst no measurement tool is comprehensive enough to be able to fully capture the complexity of a child or young persons lived experiences, they can help give an indication of where they might be according to what the measurement tool is measuring

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(Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire)

Goodman's SDQ is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire for children and young people aged 3-16. There are also versions that can be filled out by parents and teachers to build a bigger picture of the child in different contexts.

The SDQ is divided in five subscales






It can be downloaded in multiple languages

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Psychlops is a short outcomes measurement designed for use for therapists. It has versions for children and young people. Psyclops had questions on problems, functioning and wellbeing to be filled out by or with the child or young person. It is highly sensitive to capturing small changes that occur during therapy. Psychlops is available in different languages.

Stunning portrait of a young girl gazing

Outcomes Star

The Outcomes Star is based on strengths based, person centered values to measure and support change. It has over 25 versions and is used across multiple sectors. It is based on three core values of empowerment, collaboration and integration. Available under licence only.

Has versions relevent to: autism and ADHD, community, criminal justice, domestiv violence, education, children and families, refugee and asylum seeking, mental health, young people.

Requires a licence to access


Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS & RCADS-P)

The RCADS and RCADS P (Parent Version) are 47 item questionnaires that explore the frequency of anxiety and low mood. It has subscales which measure the reported frequency of social anxiety, social phobia, panic, generalised anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and gives a generalised score for overall symptoms of low mood and anxiety.

Used with children and parents between 8-18 years old


Spence Children's Anxiety Scale

The Spence Children's Anxiety Scale was developed to assess the severity of anxiety symptoms in children and young people. There are versions for children, early years and parents/carers.

It consists of 44 items that assess six domains including social phobia, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, separation anxiety, generalised anxiety, panic/ agoraphobia and physical injury/health anxieties. It is designed to be able to do quickly with a child, taking attention span into account.

It can be translated into multiple languages.


Child Dissociative Checklist (CDC)

A 20 item checklist for parent/ carers regarding observable behaviours that would indicate whether a child has dissociative tendencies. Can generate a score that suggests to what degree a child experiences dissociative symptoms. Can be useful as a screening tool and to help parents and carers reflect more on dissociative behaviours.


Adolescent Dissocative Experiences Scale II A-DES)

A 30 item self report, non diagnostic tool to help identify to what degree an adolescent might experience dissociative symptoms. It surveys dissociative amnesia, depersonalisation, derealisation, separation of fantasy from reality, absorption and imaginative involvement and identity alteration. 



The YP CORE CORE 10 is a 10 item measure designed for 13-17 years olds that can be used as a session by session evaluation.


Children's Dissociative Experiences Scale CDES/PTSI

A 37 item questionnaire to be completed by the child to give an indication of whether the child is experiencing symptoms of PTSD and/or experiences of dissociation. The generated score will indicate to what degree the child might be experiencing challenges, including a way to consider under reporting of symptoms, which is frequent in this client group.


Brief Assessment Checklist BAC-C/ BAC - A

Brief  20 item assessments for parents of children and adolescents.


Me and My Feelings Questionnaire

A 16 item questionnaire, sometimes known as me and my school developed by the Anna Freud Centre looking at emotional and behavioural difficulties.


The Boxall Profile

An assessment tool for social, emotional and behavioural difficulties for children in school. For both children and adolescents, it identifies the level of skills needed to be able to access education and provides a benchmark to show where the child is in relation to what is considered age typical. Helps with early identification and assessment, target setting and intervention, tracking progress. For commonly used in education than therapy.

Requires a licence to access


Fagus Educational Resource

A framework for emotional and social development from Beech Lodge School.

Underpinned by child development theory Fagus enables reflection on presenting behaviours in relation to unmet needs to put a supportive structure in place to enable a child's social and emotional growth and development.

Requires a licence to access

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An online tool developed in association with Trauma Informed Schools UK to identify, assess and improve the emotional wellbeing of children in school. It is based on Jaak Panksepp's seven emotional systems in the brain. It can give a whole brain picture of a child's emotional wellbeing.

Requires a licence to access


Wellbeing Capacities

Developed by Wellbeing Education as a self report questionnaire focusing on the 10 capacities for wellbeing.

For Parents/Carers/Teachers

Wellbeing Capacities

Developed by Wellbeing Education as a self report questionnaire focusing on the 10 capacities for wellbeing.

For Young People

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