Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Johnny L. Matson


The relationship between depressive symptoms and social skills in children was examined. Three depression measures (Children's Depression Inventory, Reynolds' Child/Adolescent Depression Scale, Depression Self-Rating Scale) and two social skills measures (Matson Evaluation of Social Skills with Youngsters, Social Skills Rating System) were used to obtain parent-report and self-report data. One hundred fifty-eight children in six different grades (3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th) were the subjects of the study. Reliability of each measure was examined using internal consistency reliability coefficients (Cronbach's alpha) which indicated all the measures except the Depression Self-Rating Scale parent-report yielded coefficients of.80 or greater. The validity of depression and social skills as separate constructs was examined using a multitrait-multimethod matrix (Campbell & Fiske, 1959) and an extension of the model. The results indicated the constructs are separate and valid, although a significant effect for informant was found. The significance of this finding is discussed. Further analyses were conducted using canonical correlation which yielded a significant correlation between an overall depression and social skills scores. Additionally, analyses from examining each of three grade-groups separately indicated a significant relationship between depression and social skills regardless of the group studied. This result was also found when examining separate groups based on gender. Although the significant relationship between social skills and depression were found, further examination yielded specific measure effects for the various grade-groups and gender-groups. Several future studies are suggested and the strengths and weaknesses of the study are presented.