Factor structure of the SCL-90-R: is there one?

J Pers Assess. 1985 Dec;49(6):571-8. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa4906_2.


A review of the literature on the factor structure of the Symptom Check List-90-R (SCL-90-R) and its precursors makes evident the many problems inherent in this clinical assessment tool as a measure of independent dimensions of symptom distress, particularly in psychiatric patients. The many versions of the Symptom Check List are evaluated on several criteria (e.g., factor stability, factor loadings, proportion of variance, etc.). It is concluded that interpreting nine dimensions for clinical purposes is highly questionable. It is perhaps still a better measure of general distress as was intended in its original version approximately three decades ago.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Neurotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotherapy
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis