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DISC Predictive Scales (DPS)

From: Concurrent Substance Use and Mental Health Problems in Youth: Screening for Concurrent Substance Use and Mental Health Problems in Youth (© 2009, CAMH)

Download and read the PDF.

Brief description

The DISC Predictive Scales (DPS) is a diagnosis-specific self-report inventory designed to identify youth who are likely to meet diagnostic criteria for one or more mental health disorders (including substance use disorders). The scales and related items are derived from a secondary analysis of a large epidemiological dataset containing responses to the full Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC 2.3) and other DSM-III diagnostic information. The 56 items in the inventory refer to the past 12 months. The DISC scales are:

  • simple phobia
  • social phobia
  • agoraphobia
  • overanxious disorder
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • separation anxiety disorder
  • eating disorders
  • major depressive disorder
  • ADHD
  • oppositional defiant disorder
  • conduct disorder
  • alcohol/substance use disorder

Appropriate target populations

Validation data cover a juvenile justice population aged 9 to 17.

Administration options

Parent and youth self-report and the instrument is typically delivered via computer with items appearing on the screen and also heard by audio via headphones.

Formats available

_X_ self-administered (paper-and-pencil)

_X_ self-administered (computer)

___ clinician-administered

Languages available

_X_ English

___ French

___ Other

Accessibility and cost

___ no charge for use

_X_ use requires permission of test developer (A PDF copy of the tool is available from the author.)

___ use requires special training and/or professional or academic credentials

_X_ fee for use (The software version is $250 per installation.)

Where to access

Contact Chris Lucas for more information: or visit the Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice's website to view the brochure.

Summary of test development data

Quality of reporting

High, based on STARD rating (see Appendix, p.76).

Summary of validity and reliability data

High, but data on test-retest reliability would be helpful.