Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS)
- General information
- Structure and administration
- Sample norms, reliability, and validity
Author(s)/developer(s): Schaffer, D., Gould, M.S., Brasic, J., Ambrosini, P., Fisher, P., Bird, H., & Aluwahlia, S.
Date(s) of publication: 1983
Primary: General mental health assessment
Secondary: Development and functioning
Social and psychiatric functioning.
To assess a child or adolescent's lowest level of social or psychiatric functioning in a specified time period.
Use(s) of information:
This measure may be used to assess current level of social/psychiatric functioning in children and adolescents, or to establish a baseline level of functioning prior to implementing an intervention or treatment program.
Children and adolescents ages 4 to 16.
English, Spanish, and Swedish.
Additional information to inform measure useOther considerations:
None at this time.
Ontario-based programs or initiatives using this measure:
Parent therapy program
Program Evaluation Implementation
Pine River Institute: Program Evaluation Expansion
Structure and administration
Method(s) of administration:
Number of items:
Global functioning is assessed on a scale from 1 to 100, broken down into 10 equal parts. The measure describes the level of functioning represented by each decile.
Estimated time to administer:
Raters must be clinicians familiar with behavioural rating scales and the administration and interpretation of psychological measures.
Training requirements, scoring and interpretation:
The child is rated on a scale of 1 to 100, with lower scores indicating greater impairment. The authors suggest that scores above 70 indicate normal functionality. Interpretation should be done by clinicians familiar with the administration and interpretation of psychological measures.
Sample norms, reliability, and validity
The norms, reliability and validity statistics included in each measure profile are those reported by the author(s) of the measure. It is important to note that altering, adding or removing questions from a measure voids these reported statistics, possibly making the revised tool unreliable and invalid.
Sample for development of norms:
Information not indicated / not available at this time
The authors report an inter-rater reliability of 0.84, and a test-retest reliability of 0.85. Further studies have found inter-rater reliabilities ranging from 0.53 to 0.92.
The authors report evidence of discriminative validity. Further studies have found evidence of discriminant validity, minimal divergent validity, and mixed convergent validity.
Contact Information / Ordering Information:
Dr. David Shaffer
Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Lawrence C. Kolb Research Building
Rm 263A, Unit/Box 78
40 Haven Ave.
New York, NY
None at this time.
Bird, H.R., Canino, G., Rubio-Stipec, M., & Ribera, J.C. (1987). Further measures of the psychometric properties of the Children's Global Assessment Scale. Archives of General Psychiatry, 44(9), 821-824.
Compton, S. N., Peris, T. S., Almirall, D., Birmaher, B., Sherrill, J., Kendall, P. C., ... & Piacentini, J. C. (2014). Predictors and moderators of treatment response in childhood anxiety disorders: Results from the CAMS trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 82(2), 212.
Dyrborg, J., Warborg Larsen, F., Nielsen, S., Byman, J., Buhl Nielsen, B., & Gautrè-Delay, F. (2000). The Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) and Global Assessment of Psychosocial Disability (GAPD) in clinical practice - Substance and reliability as judged by intraclass correlations. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 9(3), 195-201.
Ezpeleta, L., Granero, R., & de la Osa, N. (1999). Assessment of impairment in children and adolescents with the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). [Spanish]. Revista de Psiquiatria Infanto-Juvenil, 1, 18-26.
Grant, P. J., Joseph, L. A., Farmer, C. A., Luckenbaugh, D. A., Lougee, L. C., Zarate, C. A., & Swedo, S. E. (2014). 12-Week, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Add-on Riluzole in the Treatment of Childhood-Onset Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39(6), 1453-1459.
Green, B., Shirk, S., Hanze, D., & Wanstrath, J. (1994). The Children's Global Assessment Scale in clinical practice: An empirical evaluation. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 33(8), 1158-1164.
Lundh, A., Kowalski, J., Sundberg, C. J., Landen, M. (2012). A comparison of seminar and computer based training on the accuracy and reliability of raters using the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Vol.39(6), pp. 458-465.
Lundh, A., Kowalski, J., Sundberg, C.J., Gumpert, C., & Landén, M. (2010). Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) in a naturalistic clinical setting: Inter-rater reliability and comparison with expert ratings. Psychiatry Research, 177(1-2), 206-210.
Rey, J.M., Starling, J., Wever, C., Dossetor, D.R., & Plapp, J.M. (1995). Inter-rater reliability of Global Assessment of Functioning in a clinical setting. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36(5), 787-792.
Shaffer, D., Gould, M.S., Brasic, J., Ambrosini, P., Fisher, P., Bird, H., & Aluwahlia, S. (1983). A Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). Archives of General Psychiatry, 40(11), 1228-1231.
Williams, S.T. (2008). Mental health screening and assessment tools for children literature review Davis, CA: Northern California Training Academy, University of California.
Status: Verified and completed
Last updated: 2016-03-10