Behavioral Activation for Depression Scale (BADS) (Long and Short Form)


Author of Tool: 

Kanter, J. W., Mulick, P. S., Busch, A. M., Berlin, K. S., & Martell, C. R.

Key references: 

Kanter, J. W., Mulick, P. S., Busch, A. M., Berlin, K. S., & Martell, C. R. (2007). The Behavioral activation for depression scale (BADS): Psychometric properties and factor structure. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 29, 191-202.

Kanter, J. W., Rusch, L. C., Busch, A. M., & Sedivy, S. K. (2009). Validation of the behavioral activation for depression scale (BADS) in a community sample with elevated depressive symptoms. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 31, 36-42.

Manos, R. C., Kanter, J. W., & Luo, W. (2011). The behavioral activation scale for depression-short form: Development and validation. Behavior Therapy, 42, 726-739.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The questionnaire is designed to measure changes in avoidance and activation over the course of Behavioral Activation for depression.


The Behavioral Activation for Depression Scale (BADS) can be used to track changes weekly in the behaviors hypothesized to underlie depression and specifically targeted for change by behavioral activation. It examines changes in the following areas: activation, avoidance/rumination, work/school impairment, and social impairment. The BADS consists of 25 questions, each rated on a seven point scale ranging from 0 (not at all) to 6 (completely). The short-form BADS consists of 9 items rated using the same scale as the long-form.


Data on the scale’s internal consistency, construct and predictive validity, and factor structure have been presented (Kanter et al., 2007; Kanter et al., 2009). Positive findings on the psychometric properties of the short-form BADs have also been presented (Manos et al., 2011)



PDF iconBehavioral Activation for Depression ScalePDF iconBehavioral Activation for Depression Scale- Short Form

Other Information: 

To score the BADS, items from all scales other than the Activation scale are reverse-coded and then
all items are summed. To score the subscales, no items are reverse-coded. This process allows high scores on the total scale and the subscales to be represented by the scale and subscale names. In other words, for the total scale, higher scores represent increased activation, while for the Social Impairment subscale, higher scores represent increased social impairment.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):


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