Using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21 (DASS‐21) across cultures

Tian P. S. Oei, Sukanlaya Sawang, Yong Wah Goh, Firdaus Mukhtar
Published Online:
05 Feb 2014
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 48 Issue 6

Additional Options

The DASS‐21 is a well‐established instrument for measuring depression, anxiety, and stress with good reliability and validity reported from Hispanic American, British, and Australian adults. However, the lack of appropriate validation among Asian populations continues to pose concerns over the use of DASS‐21 in Asian samples. Cultural variation may influence the individual's experience and emotional expression. Thus, when researchers and practitioners employ Western‐based assessments with Asian populations by directly translating them without an appropriate validation, the process can be challenging. We conducted a series of rigorous statistical tests and minimized any potential confounds from the demographic information. Following factor analyses, we performed multigroup analysis across six nations to demonstrate consistency of our findings. The advantages of this revised DASS‐18 stress scale are twofold. First, it possesses fewer items, which results in a cleaner factorial structure. Second, it has a smaller interfactor correlation. With these justifications, the revised DASS‐18 stress scale is potentially more suitable for Asian populations. Nonetheless, given limitations, findings should be considered preliminary.

© International Union of Psychological Science