The Child Psychosocial Distress Screener (CPDS)


Author of Tool: 

Jordans, M. J., Komproe, I. H., Ventevogel, P., Tol, W. A., de Jong, J. T.

Key references: 

Jordans, M. J., Komproe, I. H., Ventevogel, P., Tol, W. A., de Jong, J. T. (2008). Development and validation of the child psychosocial distress screener in Burundi. Am J Orthopsychiatry, 78(3), 290-9.

Tsang, K. L. V., Wong, P. Y. H., & Lo, S. K. (2011). Assessing psychosocial well-being of adolescents: a systematic review of measuring instruments. Child: care, health and development, 38( 5), 629–646.

Jordans, M. J. D., Komproe, I. H., Tol, W. A. & De Jong, J. T. V. M. (2009). Screening for psychosocial distress amongst war-affectedchildren: cross-cultural construct validity of the CPDS. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 50, 514–523. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.02028.x.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Child Psychosocial Distress Screener (CPDS) is a 7-item inventory rated on a 3 point Likert type scale. Its purpose is to measure the level of psychological distress in children aged between 8 and 14, usually following some form of traumatic event or events, such as those associated with war. Four of the seven items are for the child to answer, and three are for a teacher of the child.


The negative psychological outcomes in children exposed to armed conflict are well documented. In particular, lower income countries have difficulty meeting the mental health needs of their children. To highlight the need for interventions in these countries Jordans, Komproe, Ventevogel, Tol, & de Jong (2008) developed and validated the Child Psychosocial Distress Screener (CPDS). This scale is unique in its brevity and its flexibility; three of the items must be supplemented with probes which relate specifically to the child’s own experiences. These ‘probes’ are obtained through grounded focus groups involving the child, and his/her parents and teachers. In this way, the scale addresses the child’s psychological distress in a cross culturally valid and non-specific manner.


The psychometric properties of the The Child Psychosocial Distress Screener (CPDS) are discussed in Jordans, Komproe, Ventevogel, Tol, & de Jong (2008).



PDF iconThe Child Psychosocial Distress Screener (CPDS)

Other Information: 

The inventory requires a focus group in order to obtain relevant probes (triggers for memories of distressful events) before administration of the scale itself.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):


Welcome to the Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences (MIDSS). The site is designed to be a repository for instruments that are used to collect data from across the social sciences. Please use the site to discover instruments you can use in you own research.