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J Abnorm Psychol. 1998 Aug;107(3):520-6.

Long-term stability of depression, anxiety, and stress syndromes.

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School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


At Time 1, 3,540 participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS). At Time 2, 3 to 8 years later, the DASS was readministered to 882 of these participants. There was strong evidence for selective stability of the syndromes of depression, anxiety, and stress. Each Time 2 scale was best predicted by the same scale at Time 1, with no significant increase in prediction from the other 2 Time 1 scales. Stability of the 3 syndromes did not vary systematically over the intervals studied. The results support the longitudinal stability of depression, anxiety, and stress and, in particular, draw attention to the distinction between anxiety symptoms and tension-stress symptoms. The results were interpreted as supporting the existence of syndrome-specific vulnerabilities, over and above a primary general vulnerability to emotional distress.

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