The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS): normative data and latent structure in a large non-clinical sample

Br J Clin Psychol. 2003 Jun;42(Pt 2):111-31. doi: 10.1348/014466503321903544.


Objectives: To provide UK normative data for the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) and test its convergent, discriminant and construct validity.

Design: Cross-sectional, correlational and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

Methods: The DASS was administered to a non-clinical sample, broadly representative of the general adult UK population (N = 1,771) in terms of demographic variables. Competing models of the latent structure of the DASS were derived from theoretical and empirical sources and evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis. Correlational analysis was used to determine the influence of demographic variables on DASS scores. The convergent and discriminant validity of the measure was examined through correlating the measure with two other measures of depression and anxiety (the HADS and the sAD), and a measure of positive and negative affectivity (the PANAS).

Results: The best fitting model (CFI =.93) of the latent structure of the DASS consisted of three correlated factors corresponding to the depression, anxiety and stress scales with correlated error permitted between items comprising the DASS subscales. Demographic variables had only very modest influences on DASS scores. The reliability of the DASS was excellent, and the measure possessed adequate convergent and discriminant validity Conclusions: The DASS is a reliable and valid measure of the constructs it was intended to assess. The utility of this measure for UK clinicians is enhanced by the provision of large sample normative data.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / classification*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Depressive Disorder / classification
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stress, Psychological*