Extreme demand avoidance questionnaire (EDA-Q)

To be completed by parent and/or teacher. One box to be ticked per question. ​

    Not true   Somewhat true Mostly true Very true
1 Obsessively resists and avoids ordinary demands and requests.        
2 Complains about illness or physical incapacity when avoiding a request or demand.        
3 Is driven by the need to be in charge.        
4 Finds everyday pressures (e.g. having to go on a school trip/ visit dentist) intolerably stressful.        
5 Tells other children how they should behave, but does not feel these rules apply to him/herself.        
6 Mimics adult mannerisms and styles (e.g. uses phrases adopted from teacher/parent to tell other children off).        
7 Has difficulty complying with demands unless they are carefully presented.        
8 Takes on roles or characters (from TV/real life) and 'acts them out'.         
9 Shows little shame or embarrassment (e.g. might throw a tantrum in public and not be embarrassed).        
10 Invents fantasy worlds or games and acts them out.         
11 Good at getting round others and making them do as s/he wants.         
12 Seems unaware of the differences between him/herself and authority figures (e.g. parents, teachers, police).        
13 If pressurised to do something, s/he may have a ‘meltdown’ (e.g. scream, tantrum, hit or kick).        
14 Likes to be told s/he has done a good job.        
15 Mood changes very rapidly (e.g. switches from affectionate to angry in an instant).        
16 Knows what to do or say to upset specific people.        
17 Blames or targets a particular person.        
18 Denies behaviour s/he has committed, even when caught red handed.        
19 Seems as if s/he is distracted 'from within'.        
20 Makes an effort to maintain his/her reputation with peers.         
21 Uses outrageous or shocking behaviour to get out of doing something.        
22 Has bouts of extreme emotional responses to small events (e.g. crying/giggling, becoming furious).        
23 Social interaction has to be on his or her own terms.         
24 Prefers to interact with others in an adopted role, or communicate through props/toys.        
25 Attempts to negotiate better terms with adults.         
26 S/he was passive and difficult to engage as an infant.         

How to score the EDA-Q

Questions 1 - 26 (apart from questions 14 and 20)
Not true = 0
Somewhat true = 1
Mostly true = 2
Very true = 3

Questions 14 & 20
Not true = 3
Somewhat true = 2
Mostly true = 1
Very true = 0


For children aged 5 to 11 a score of 50 and over...
For children aged 12 to 17 a score of 45 and over...

...identifies individuals with an elevated risk of having a profile consistent with PDA.

The EDA-Q should not be considered a diagnostic test. For diagnosis, a thorough assessment by an experienced professional is required.

The EDA-Q has been developed as a part of ongoing research into PDA:
O’Nions, E., Christie, P., Gould, J., Viding, E. & Happé, F. (2013)
Development of the ’Extreme Demand Avoidance Questionnaire’ (EDA-Q): Preliminary observations on a trait measure for Pathological Demand Avoidance
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry