Answers to MAYSI-2 items contribute to six clinical scales and one additional “Traumatic Experiences” scale. (Various scales have 5, 6, 8, or 9 items.) Youths’ yes/no responses are transferred via a Scoring Form to produce scores on each of the seven scales. Those are recorded on a Summary Form. (A few MAYSI-2 items do not contribute to any scale but were included for research purposes.)
The following are the six clinical scales and their meanings:
- Alcohol/Drug Use (AD)
- Identifies youths who may be using alcohol or drugs to a significant degree, and who are therefore at risk of substance dependence and/or abuse.
- Angry-Irritable (AI)
- Assesses explicit feelings of preoccupying anger, a general tendency toward irritability, frustration, impulsive reactions, and tension related to anger.
- Depressed-Anxious (DA)
- Elicits symptoms of mixed depressed mood and anxiety.
- Somatic Complaints (SC)
- Assesses presence of various bodily aches and pains that may affect the youth, especially those often associated with anxiety.
- Suicide Ideation (SI)
- Specifically identifies thoughts and intentions about self-harm and depressive symptoms that may present an increased risk for suicide.
- Thought Disturbance (TD)
- Boys only
- Assesses the possibility of serious mental disorder involving distortion of reality. (Original development of the MAYSI-2 identified a Thought Disturbance scale demonstrating validity for boys but not girls. A TD score may be calculated for girls, but its meaning is uncertain.)
The additional seventh scale is Traumatic Experiences (TE). While this scale is not known to assess a clinical condition, like PTSD, it identifies youths who may have had greater exposure than other youths to potentially traumatizing events but not necessarily whether they were traumatized.