The DADYS-Screen: Development and Evaluation of a Screening Tool for Affective Dysregulation in Children

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Christiane Otto - , University of Hamburg (Author)
  • Anne Kaman - , University of Hamburg (Author)
  • Claus Barkmann - , University of Hamburg (Author)
  • Manfred Döpfner - , University of Cologne (Author)
  • Anja Görtz-Dorten - , University of Cologne (Author)
  • Claudia Ginsberg - , University of Cologne (Author)
  • Sara Zaplana Labarga - , University of Cologne (Author)
  • Anne Katrin Treier - , University of Cologne (Author)
  • Veit Roessner - , Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (Author)
  • Charlotte Hanisch - , University of Cologne (Author)
  • Michael Koelch - , Ulm University, University of Rostock (Author)
  • Tobias Banaschewski - , Heidelberg University  (Author)
  • Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer - , University of Hamburg (Author)


Affective dysregulation (AD) in children is characterized by persistent irritability and severe temper outbursts. This study developed and evaluated a screening questionnaire for AD in children. The development included the generation of an initial item pool from existing instruments, a Delphi rating of experts, focus groups with experts and parents, and psychometric analyses of clinical and population-based samples. Based on data of a large community-based study, the final screening questionnaire was developed (n = 771; 49.7 % female; age M = 10.02 years; SD = 1.34) and evaluated (n = 8,974; 48.7 % female; age M = 10.00 years; SD = 1.38) with methods from classical test theory and item response theory. The developed DADYS-Screen (Diagnostic Tool for Affective Dysregulation in Children—Screening Questionnaire) includes 12 items with good psychometric properties and scale characteristics including a good fit to a one-factorial model in comparison to the baseline model, although only a “mediocre” fit according to the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). Results could be confirmed using a second and larger data set. Overall, the DADYS-Screen is able to identify children with AD, although it needs further investigation using clinical data.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1094
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

External IDs

PubMed 35301874


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • affective dysregulation, children, irritability, item response theory, parent-report, screening, Reproducibility of Results, Humans, Parents, Male, Psychometrics/methods, Female, Surveys and Questionnaires, Child