The different characteristics of the population of children with extreme scores on the Children's Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1983) are described according to the information of different sources. 148 children in the fourth year of grammar school, 80 with CDI scores >19 and 68 with CDI <5, were evaluated with regard to severity of depression attributional style, cognitive variables and school achievement. Children with high scores «versus« children with low scores showed higher severity of depressive symptomatology; an attributional style more depressive, lower performance in the intelligence subtests that assess gestalt closure, non-verbal concept formation and reading comprehension the school achievement was inferior, they presented more behavior problems according to the information of the parents, were less happy according to the teacher information and were more depressive following the information of the peers. © 1990, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.