Beck depression inventory: exploring its dimensionality in a nonclinical population

J Clin Psychol. 1999 Oct;55(10):1307-12. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4679(199910)55:10<1307::AID-JCLP11>3.0.CO;2-7.


The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was factor analyzed to examine its potential multidimensionality. Results indicate that the items on the BDI assess two primary dimensions of depression: cognitive-affective and physiological symptoms. Reliabilities for the items comprising each of the factors were acceptable. Between-groups analyses showed that women scored significantly higher than men on both of the factors and on total depression. Within-group analyses showed that levels of cognitive-affective and physiological depression did not differ significantly within the total sample, or for men or women. In future revisions of the BDI, it may be useful to develop scoring systems based on these two dimensions, both to differentiate between types and levels of depression, and to consider implications for prognosis and treatment response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Severity of Illness Index