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Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2005;9(1):22-8. doi: 10.1080/13651500510014800.

Psychometric characteristics of the Beck Depression Inventory-II with college students of diverse ethnicity.

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Department of Pediatrics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


Introduction To evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the Beck Depression Inventory - Second Edition (BDI-II) with an ethnically diverse sample of college students. Methods The BDI-II was completed by a group of 502 college students (54% women) with an ethnic distribution of African-American (n=49, 10%), Asian-American (n=33, 7%), Hispanic (n=113, 22%), Native-American (n=10, 2%), and White (n=297, 59%). Psychometric characteristics of the inventory with the ethnically diverse group were compared to the results published in the test manual for nonclinical samples composed predominantly of European and White participants. Results Using confirmatory factor analyses, a three-factor model that identified negative attitude, performance difficulty, and somatic dimensions, provides a better fit of the data than does the two-factor model. Similar psychometric characteristics were found between the ethnically diverse student sample and the standardization sample. Based on multivariate analysis of variance, White students had higher scores on the item of agitation compared to Asian-American students and on the items of worthlessness and irritability compared to Hispanic students. Conclusion The results of the psychometric analyses suggest that the BDI-II is suitable as a screening instrument for depression in college populations of diverse ethnicity.


Depression; confirmatory factor analysis; major depression inventory; psychometrics; screening instrument

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