A longitudinal examination of the measurement properties and predictive utility of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale among North American Indigenous adolescents

Psychol Assess. 2014 Dec;26(4):1347-55. doi: 10.1037/a0037608. Epub 2014 Sep 1.


We examined the longitudinal measurement properties and predictive utility of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) from early to late adolescence among a sample of North American Indigenous youths. Participants were 632 North American Indigenous adolescents (n = 632; 50.3% girls; M age at baseline = 11.11 years) participating in an 8-year, 8-wave longitudinal study. Via in-person interviews, participants completed the CES-D at Waves 1, 3, 5, and 7, and the major depressive disorder (MDD) module of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children at Waves 1, 4, 6, and 8. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that responses to the CES-D were similarly explained by 2-, 3-, and 4-factor models, as well as a 1-factor model with correlations between the error variances for the positively worded items. Longitudinal measurement equivalence analyses indicated full structural (i.e., factor structure), metric (i.e., factor loadings), and scalar (i.e., observed item intercepts) equivalence for each factor structure. Substantive analyses showed that the CES-D was significantly associated with MDD both concurrently and prospectively, although these effects were smaller than might be expected. Finally, the CES-D negative affect and somatic complaints subscales were the strongest and most consistent predictors of MDD. Among our sample of North American Indigenous youths, the measurement properties of the CES-D were stable from early to late adolescence. Moreover, somatic difficulties and depressed affect were the strongest predictors of MDD.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results