Factor Analysis of the CES-D 12 among a Community Sample of Black Men

Am J Mens Health. 2019 Mar-Apr;13(2):1557988319834105. doi: 10.1177/1557988319834105.


The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale is one of the most widely used measures for assessing depression in population-based research. Little is known about the varying range of symptomatology expressed by Black men, who report higher chronicity and disability of their depressive symptoms compared to men of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. This study assessed the dimensional structure of the CES-D 12-item scale using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis in a community-based sample of Black men ( n = 683). Two latent factors emerged from the scale that best fit the data: interpersonal negative affect (INA) and diminished positive affect (DPA). The item "I felt like everything I did was an effort" was removed from the final measure, resulting in an 11-item scale. The total score for the revised CES-D-11 displayed acceptable internal consistency on both latent factors (Cronbach's α = 0.83 [INA] and 0.73 [DPA]) and model fit (χ2 = 165.58, TLI = 0.967, CFI = 0.974, RMSEA = 0.065). Results differ from CES-D factor analyses in other demographic groups, including studies with other male subpopulations, such that depressed mood and interpersonal problems factors are merged as a unidimensional construct. Findings suggest that the "effort" item from the CES-D 12 should be interpreted with caution among Black men. Future studies should continue to disentangle the divergent pathways in which Black men express depressed mood.

Keywords: Black men; CES-D; depression; factor analysis; psychometrics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • United States / epidemiology