Exploring the psychometric properties of the CES‐D‐10 and its practicality in detecting depressive symptomatology in 27 low‐ and middle‐income countries

Caryl James, Marvin Powell, Azizi Seixas, André Bateman, Supa Pengpid, Karl Peltzer
Published Online:
23 Aug 2019

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The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression‐10 (CES‐D‐10) scale is known for its good psychometric properties in measuring depressive symptoms, however, some researchers question its applicability across various settings. This study explored the factor structure of the CES‐D‐10 in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs). This cross‐sectional survey consisted of 16,723 university students across 27 LMICs that completed self‐report instruments assessing socio‐demographic information and depressive symptoms using the CES‐D‐10. Data analysis included: exploratory factor analysis, item response theory and differential item functioning. Results indicate that a two‐factor model (depressive affect and positive affect) had the best fit for this population and accounted for 52% of the total observed variance with an internal consistency, α = .77 for the depressive affect items and α = .57 for the positive affect items. The graded response model (GRM), however, indicated that the depressive affect factor had a good fit, unlike the positive affect factor. The depressive affect factor was found to consistently model depression for females better than males. Relative to their Asian counterparts, African, Caribbean and South American participants of similar depressive affect responded differently on all items of the depressive affect factor. The depressive affect factor seems most ideal for LMICs and shows gender and cross‐cultural variability.

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