During the development of the measure Angold et al. (1995) reported convergent validity with other measures of child depressive symptomatology, like the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC). The MFQ-Self can discriminate between clinically depressed and non-depressed children in the general
population. It should also be noted that the self-report version of the MFQ discriminates depression status better than parent-report, but combining the MFQ-Self with the parent- report score discriminates clinical status better than either measure alone. The present measure has a unidimensional factor structure and high internal consistency.
The measure was also validated by Rhew et al. (2010) in a sample of 521 sixth grade students with an average age of 11.5. They conducted interviews with these students and determined that the MSQ-Self was able to discriminate depressed and non-depressed children with moderate accuracy. At a cut point of four, where sensitivity and specificity most closely intersected, the MSQ-Self had a sensitivity of 0.66, and specificity of 0.61. This study also provides the non-depressed sample (n = 476) and depressed children sample (n=36).
Scores on the MFQ-Self range from 0 to 26, with higher scores indicating greater depressive symptomatology experienced by the child. Scores are also presented as percentile ranks according to Rhew’s (et al., 2010) non-depressed sample and a depressed samples.
In the original paper detailing the development of the MFQ (Angold et al., 1995), analysis of sensitivity and specificity for cut-off scores cut-off score of 8. Rhew et al. (2010) suggested a lower cut-off score of only 4.
Angold, A., Costello, E. J., Messer, S. C., Pickles, A., Winder, F., & Silver, D. (1995). The development of a short questionnaire for use in epidemiological studies of depression in children and adolescents. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 5, 237 – 249.