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Family Questions + Parent's Concerns

Family questions, scoring guide + references

Family questions origins and validation

The SWYC's Family Questions were chosen from previously validated sources and are commonly used to measure symptoms of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and other psychosocial risk factors that affect parents' and children's well-being. Answering such questions may help pediatricians understand some factors affecting their young patients and their families. We have collected normative data on these questions in primary care and referral clinic samples. Because all items in this domain were gleaned from the research literature, we rely on previous research to support their validity.

Positive endorsement of items on this list indicate a child should be monitored further. If a parent endorses items such that a pediatrician believes a child or family member may be at immediate risk of harm, appropriate steps should be taken to refer the child and/or family for help as soon as possible.

The 2, 4, 6 and month SWYC forms include the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Read the 'Perinatal Mental Health: the EPDS Manual' which includes 58 translations of the instrument. The copyright for the EPDS is owned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. If you would like to use the EPDS as a stand-alone measure, separate from the SWYC, or make changes to the EPDS, please contact the Royal College of Psychiatrists directly.

Learn more about postpartum depression and screening guidelines provided by the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP).


Parent's concerns

Parent's concerns information

The SWYC includes two questions asking parents if they have any concerns about their child's learning, development, or behavior. Parental concerns can be a good predictor of emotional/behavioral and developmental disorders. If a parent endorses being "somewhat" or "very much" concerned about their child on either question, pediatricians should use this as an opportunity for additional conversation. These questions are based on APA recommendations.


Parent's concerns at a glance

Parents Concerns screengrab


  • Behavior/Development

Age range: 

  • 1 month, 0 days - 65 months, 31 days
  • The Parent's Concerns items are on the backside of every Age-Specific SWYC Form


  • If a parent endorses being "somewhat" or "very much" concerned about their child on either question, pediatricians should use this as an opportunity for additional conversation.
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The SWYC and the information on this site are not designed to and do not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, or treatment. The information and any reference materials posted here by Tufts Medical Center, Inc. are intended solely for the information of the reader. Such information is NOT intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. The SWYC is © Tufts Medical Center.

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