Children's Mental Health & Psychological Wellbeing - Distress

Current estimates indicate that one in ten children and young people aged between 5 and 16 years in the UK experience symptoms which cause them considerable psychological distress. Distress can be a normal experience of childhood and usually does not require professional help but can be serious. Without intervention, these difficulties can persist into adulthood with considerable implications for the individual, those close to them and wider society.


This book contains a number of straightforward questionnaires which you can use to help uncover and identify symptoms and causes of anxiety in children, as well as suggested activities and approaches to help manage their situation.


Measure Topic Type Administration Potential Age Range

The Early Years Behaviour Checklist

Emotional and behavioural adjustment

22-item practitioner rating scale

Individual 2-5 years

The Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale

Loneliness and social dissatisfaction

self-report questionnaire

Younger children: individual.

Older children: individual or groups.
5-12 years

The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders - Revised

Anxiety (panic disorder, generalised anxiety, separation anxiety, social phobia, school phobia, OCD, and PTSD)

69-item parallel parent and child 
self-report questionnaire

Children: individual or groups. 
Parents: individual.
6-19 years

The Depression Self-Rating Scale for Children 

Depression (low mood, negative thinking and reduced activity)

self-report questionnaire

Group or Individual  8-14 years 
The Children’s Revised Impact of Events Scale Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 13-item 
self-report questionnaire

8-18 years

The Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale

Automatic thoughts (negative self-statements or cognitions)

self-report questionnaire


7-16 years 


Download the SCARED-R scoring sheet 


Distress is part of the Measures of Children’s Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing series. Other titles include Belonging, Enjoyment, Healthy Living, Resilience, Responsiveness and Social Behaviour.