Information on the EDA-Q


The ‘Extreme Demand Avoidance Questionnaire’ (EDA-Q) was developed to measure behaviours reported in clinical accounts of extreme/‘pathological’ demand avoidance (PDA). The questionnaire allowed these traits to be measured consistently for research purposes. The EDA-Q should not be considered a diagnostic test. 

In the study of parent-reported behaviours in children and adolescents, for children aged 5 to 11 a score of 50 and over, and for children aged 12 to 17 a score of 45 and over, indicated an elevated risk of parents reporting that the child had been clinically identified as having a profile resembling PDA. However a lower score would not necessarily preclude PDA from being a factor, especially when presentations may be more subtle (e.g. where aggression may be less of a factor or where avoidant traits may be less ‘overt’). PDA is dimensional (meaning that it impacts different people in different ways and in different environments) so the EDA-Q score should be interpreted dimensionally rather than as a formal 'cut off' point.

A description of how the measure was developed and the preliminary validation of it can be found here: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1422617/1/O%27Nions_EDAQ_accepted.pdf
Please contact Liz O’Nions if you have any questions about the measure.

Extreme demand avoidance questionnaire (EDA-Q)

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

    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

How to interpret total scores

Please note that the EDA-Q is not a diagnostic instrument. It was developed for research purposes to quantify resemblance to the profile of pathological demand avoidance as described by Newson, Le Maréchal & David (2003).

Age 5 - 11 years: A total score of 50 or more identified those at high risk of showing features of Extreme/Pathological Demand Avoidance based on parent report.
 
Age 12 - 17 years: A total score of 45 or more identified those at high risk of showing features of Extreme/Pathological Demand Avoidance based on parent report.

However a lower score would not necessarily preclude PDA from being a factor, especially when presentations may be more subtle (e.g. where aggression may be less of a factor or where avoidant traits may be less ‘overt’). PDA is dimensional (meaning that it impacts different people in different ways and in different environments) so the EDA-Q score should be interpreted dimensionally rather than as a formal 'cut off' point.
 

For further information

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