Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression Scale

Measure DescriptionSource of measure Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385-401.

Eaton, W.W., Muntaner, C., Smith, C., Tien, A., & Ybarra, M. (2004). Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale: Review and revision (CESD and CESD-R). In: Maruish M.E., (ed.) The Use of Psychological Testing for Treatment Planning and Outcomes Assessment. Vol 3. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc
Mode of administration Self report
Age range for use Adolescent-adult
Domains AssessedDepressive symptoms. Provides a cutoff score to help identify individuals at risk for clinical depression.
Related Measures
BurdenTraining needed to administerStaff need to be familiar with all items and need to be trained in scoring and referral procedures (~30 minutes)
Minutes to complete 5
# of items 20
Adaptation for AIAN useAdaptedNo
Developer allows adaptation?Unclear - contact developer
Used with AIAN populations? Yes
AIAN: Cronbach's alpha rangeCronbach's alpha was 0.88 and test-retest reliability was moderate to good (r=0.60). In other samples, Cronbach's alpha ranges from .69 to .90 (Manson, Ackerson, Weigman Dick, Baron, & Fleming, 1990; Saunders, Sarche, Morse, Trucksess, & Biringen, in preparation; Whitbeck, McMorris, Hoyt, Stubben, & LaFromboise, 2002).
AIAN: Evidence of validityHas moderate to good correlation with internalizing domain of ASEBA (r=0.65). Whitbeck et al. (2002) used confirmatory factor analysis and found a good model fit for the four-factor model provided by Radloff (1977). Whitbeck et al. (2002) also found that increased social support and participation in traditional practices were associated with lower depressive symptoms. Stressful life events, perception of discrimination, and higher alcohol use was associated with more depressive symptoms (Whitbeck et al., 2002). Manson et al. (1990) concluded that a different factor structure may fit better for AIAN adolescents, and they also considered a different cutoff for their population.
Other populations: Cronbach's alpha rangeRadoloff (1977) reported a Cronbach's alpha ranging from .84 to .90. Test-retest reliability ranged from .41 to .67 over the coures of 2-8 weeks (Radloff, 1977).
Other populations: Evidence of validityRadloff (1977) provided evidence of the construct validity of the CES-D, as evidenced by significant correlations with other depression scales, interviewer-rated depression, and measures of negative and positive affect. Mui, Burnette, and Chen (2004) conclude that the CES-D is useful for measuring depression in diverse groups of adults, yet they warn that that factor structure may vary among different cultural groups.
SourceDeveloperLaurie Radloff (1977), revised by Eaton and colleagues in 2004 ONLINE VERSION PDF VERSION
SummaryComments about sensitivity to changeThe CES-D is sensitive to changes in caregiver depressive symptoms after intervention (Pinquart & Sorensen, 2006)
General remarksQuick to administer and complete; there are some concerns regarding how well depressive symptoms are actually being measured in this population though (scores appear lower than we hypothesized).