Reliability and validity of five mental health scales in older persons

J Gerontol. 1983 May;38(3):333-9. doi: 10.1093/geronj/38.3.333.


Five scales were assessed as mental health measures for older persons: Affect Balance, The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, General Well-Being, LSI-Z Life Satisfaction, and Trait-Anxiety Inventory. These scales were administered to a community sample of 279 older persons and a clinical sample of 109 older persons who were in psychiatric inpatient units. In both samples, the internal consistency reliabilities for the anxiety, depression, and well-being scales were moderately high to high, for the life satisfaction scale they were acceptable, but the reliabilities for the affect balance scale suggest some caution in its use. For validity, multivariate analyses of variance found that all scales significantly discriminated between the two samples. The well-being and then depression scales were the strongest discriminators while the life satisfaction scale had the weakest validity. Cutting points for the well-being and depression scales are suggested for estimating the proportions of older persons who would be probable at-risk for disorder that requires intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Mental Health*
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychological Tests