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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1998 May;37(5):495-503.

Prediction of major depression and dysthymia from CES-D scores among ethnic minority adolescents.

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Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA.



The Native Hawaiian Mental Health Research Development Program is an epidemiological longitudinal study of adolescents residing in Hawaii. This article examines the utility of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) for predicting DSM-III-R diagnoses of major depression (MD) and dysthymic disorder (DD) and investigates whether prediction differs by gender and ethnicity.


Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children interviews were conducted with 556 adolescents randomly selected from among more than 7,000 students who had completed the CES-D.


Six-month prevalence rates were as follows: MD = 8.5%, DD = 4.7%, either (MDDD) = 9.9%. Prevalence rates were significantly higher among females, but after CES-D scores were accounted for, gender no longer predicted depression in most analyses. When a cutoff score of 16 was used, classification accuracy was lower for Native Hawaiians than non-Hawaiians. However, after group differences in gender and grade level were accounted for, the predictive validity of the CES-D did not differ by ethnicity. CES-D factor 1 scores identified MD, DD, and MDDD about as well as the total score or all three factors together.


These results support the validity of the CES-D for screening for depression among adolescents of Native Hawaiian and other minority backgrounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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