The Generic Children's Quality of Life Measure (GCQ) is used to measure the quality of life in children between the ages of 6 and 14 years. It can be used with children in the general population, as well as those who have specific health or social difficulties. The GCQ is not symptom-oriented or problem-specific, but focused on areas that are interest to all children such as families, peer relationships and school.

Psychometric properties

Property Definition GCQ
Reliability Degree to which respondents in a similar sample had similar scores

Internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha):

Perceived-self Scale - 0.74
Preferred-self Scale - 0.84
Quality of Life Scale - 0.78

Principal components factor analysis suggested a one factor solution as most appropriate.Content and face validity is supported by the fact that the GCQ items are based on factors children report as affecting their quality of life. The items broadly fit Eiser's (1994) investigation of what children mean by quality of life.

Construct validity Degree to which a test measures what it claims to be measuring Construct validity is based on the hypothesis that a child's quality of life is directly related to satisfaction with life. The correlation between the general life satisfaction item and the overall score for quality of life is 0.50 which supports construct validity on this basis.


The GCQ is to be completed by individuals aged 6-14 years.


There are two versions of the GCQ booklets, one for boys and one for girls. The following materials are available for purchase from Hogrefe Ltd:

GCQ Starter Set
GCQ Professional Manual
GCQ Boy Item Booklets with Score Sheets
GCQ Girl Item Booklets with Score Sheets

Scoring and interpretation

The obtained raw scores are converted to T-scores and/or percentiles (using lookup tables) so that normative comparisons can be made. In addition to the discrepancy score as an indication of overall reported quality of life, the standard scores for the Perceived-Self and Preferred-Self can provide additional information. For example where the discrepancy between them is small but they are both low compared to the norm group there may be issues about low expectations in relation to life quality

Further information

Collier J, MacKinlay D, Phillips D. (2000). Norm values for the Generic Children’s Quality of Life Measure (GCQ) from a large schoolbased sample. Quality of Life Research 2000 (9), 617623.


Generic Children’s Quality of Life Measure/GCQ Collier, 1997; Collier et al., 2000 Allows comparison between chronically ill children & the general child population. Child-report

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