Psychometric properties and measurement invariance of Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS‐21) across cultures

Akhtar Bibi, Muyu Lin, Xiao Chi Zhang, Jürgen Margraf
Published Online:
07 Apr 2020

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Cross‐culturally measurement invariant instruments are useful for the assessment of mental symptoms across cultures. The current study aimed to investigate the psychometric properties and measurement invariance of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS‐21) (DASS) across Pakistan and Germany. German participants were recruited through an online survey (N = 1323), while Pakistani participants were recruited through online survey or paper‐and‐pencil survey (N = 1841). The DASS‐21 showed good reliability, construct and structure validity in both countries. The DASS‐21 indicated partial weak (stress subscale) and partial strong measurement invariance (depression and anxiety subscales) between both countries. Latent mean comparison of depression and anxiety symptoms between Pakistani and German students indicated that Pakistani university students experience more symptoms of depression and anxiety. Results suggest that the DASS‐21 could be used in Pakistan and Germany, but caution should be taken when making direct comparisons between the two countries.

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