Objective: The Native Hawaiian Mental Health Research Development Program is an epidemiological longitudinal study of adolescents residing in Hawaii. This article examines the utility of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) for predicting DSM-III-R diagnoses of major depression (MD) and dysthymic disorder (DD) and investigates whether prediction differs by gender and ethnicity.
Method: Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children interviews were conducted with 556 adolescents randomly selected from among more than 7,000 students who had completed the CES-D.
Results: Six-month prevalence rates were as follows: MD = 8.5%, DD = 4.7%, either (MDDD) = 9.9%. Prevalence rates were significantly higher among females, but after CES-D scores were accounted for, gender no longer predicted depression in most analyses. When a cutoff score of 16 was used, classification accuracy was lower for Native Hawaiians than non-Hawaiians. However, after group differences in gender and grade level were accounted for, the predictive validity of the CES-D did not differ by ethnicity. CES-D factor 1 scores identified MD, DD, and MDDD about as well as the total score or all three factors together.
Conclusions: These results support the validity of the CES-D for screening for depression among adolescents of Native Hawaiian and other minority backgrounds.