Screening and Assessment Tools for Child Welfare
Description / Purpose:
The MFQ is a 32-item questionnaire based on DSM-III-R criteria for depression. The MFQ consists of a series of descriptive phrases regarding how the subject has been feeling or acting recently. Codings reflect whether the phrase was descriptive of the subject most of the time, sometimes, or not at all in the past two weeks. Additional items (e.g., loneliness, feeling unloved) were included due to their clinical significance to the construct. An 11-item subscale, based on the discriminating ability between the depressed and nondepressed, was developed as a short form alternative, Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ). Both parent and child-report forms are available.
Target Population: Children and adolescents ages 8-18
Intended Users: Clinicians
Time to Administer: 5-10 minutes
Completed By: Child, parent
Modalities Available: Hand-written
Scoring Information: Each item is to be rated on a 3-point Likert scale: "true", "sometimes true", and "not true" with respect to the events of the past two weeks.
Training Requirements for Intended Users: None stated
Availability: Free to download on Duke University website: http://devepi.duhs.duke.edu/mfq.html
Summary of Relevant Psychometric Research
This assessment has received the Assessment Rating of "A – Reliability and Validity Demonstrated" based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The assessment must have 2 or more published, peer-reviewed studies that demonstrated that the measure is reliable and valid. Please see the Assessment Rating Scale for more information.
Show relevant research...
Wood, A., Kroll, L., Moore, A., & Harrington, R. (1995). Properties of the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in adolescent psychiatric outpatients: A research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36(2), 327-334.
Participants — 104 adolescent outpatients
Race/Ethnicity — Not given
The study examined the psychometric properties of the Mood and Feelings
Questionnaire (MFQ) in 104 adolescent outpatients attending a psychiatric clinic for treatment of depressive disorders. Both the child and parent versions of the MFQ had high internal consistency. Children reported more symptoms than their parents did about them. Analyses showed that the MFQ-Child had moderate diagnostic accuracy for major depression at interview, whereas the MFQ-Parent had only low accuracy. It was also a useful measure of clinical remission.
Kent, L., Vostanis, P., & Feehan, C. (1997). Detection of major and minor depression in children and adolescents: Evaluation of the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire. Journal of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, 38(5), 565-573.
Participants — 113 outpatient children
Race/Ethnicity — Not given for total sample. Study gives weighted percentages dispersed in seven individual group clusters.
The detection of major and minor depression in children and adolescents was evaluated in an outpatient sample of 113 children employing the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (both child and parent versions) and the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS). Differences between depressed and nondepressed groups, those with major or minor depression, and depressed children compared with those comorbid for anxiety, were examined. Findings support the validity of the MFQ as a screening instrument for major and minor depression in a population with a high proportion of depressed cases. High agreement between parent and child ratings was found, with cognitive items being the best predictors of depression.
Daviss, W. B., Birmaher, B., Melhem, N. A., Axelson, D. A., Michaels, S. M., & Brent, D. A. (2006). Criterion validity of the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire for depressive episodes in clinic and non-clinic subjects. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(9), 927-934.
Participants — 470 youth
Race/Ethnicity — White (n=390) and Nonwhite (n=80)
Among 470 consecutive youth completing semi-structured interviews at a university-based child psychiatry center, total scores from the 33-item MFQ-Child and 34-item MFQ-Parent were examined across subjects with and without mood disorders various analyses. Statistically significant differences were found in mean scores of the MFQ-C and MFQ-P across youth having major depressive episodes (MDE), mood disorders not meeting criteria for current MDE, and no mood disorders. In the overall sample, areas under the curve for discriminating MDE and any mood disorder suggested moderate to high criterion validity. Scores from the MFQ-C and MFQ-P in the overall sample correlated strongly with each other. The MFQ-C and MFQ-P, especially used in combination, validly identify MDE or other mood disorders in youth diverse in demographic and clinical characteristics.
Date Reviewed: August 2011