Recommended Tools

Well-validated screening tools are recommended for use in all settings. The following tools have excellent reliability and validity and are commonly used across the United States to screen for social and emotional concerns.

Infants and young children rely on their parents and primary caregivers for their healthy development.  Decades of research on maternal mental health show that maternal depression can impact a mother’s ability to meet their child’s needs.  Maternal depression can pose serious mental health problems for mothers and jeopardize their ability to provide safe, responsive, and nurturing care to their young children.24  However, if mothers receive positive support and early intervention, the incidence of maternal depression can be avoided or reduced.  One of the ways that we can provide support to mothers who are at risk of, or are experiencing maternal depression, is to assure earlier identification of maternal depression in health care settings.  Primary care physicians are in key positions to provide information, screening, and referrals for mothers in need. Simple screening tools for maternal depression that are widely used in pediatric practices are described below.


Infant/Toddler Screening Tool

(CPT code: 96127)

Maternal Depression

(CPT code: 96161)

Tool Ages & Stages Social & Emotional (ASQ-SE) II PHQ-2 (if positive, PHQ-9 should be administered)
Cost   $275 per language kit

(photocopiable forms)

Number of Questions    30 2
Parent Completion Time    10-15 minutes

(4-6th grade reading level)

Provider Score &

Interpret Time


2-3 minutes


1-2 minutes

Sensitivity      .81 .97
Specificity      .83 .67
Age Range   1 month to 72 months Adolescents & Adults
Year of validation   Updated 2015 2003
Languages   English & Spanish Multiple
Web site
Other Kit includes photocopiable forms, users guide & CD rom