Does the CES-D measure a continuum from depression to happiness? Comparing substantive and artifactual models

Alex M. Wood, Peter J. Taylor, Stephen Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D) is one of the five most frequently used measures of depressive experiences. Previous research has suggested that the scale may consist of two separate factors of happiness and depression, respectively. However, recent methodological research has demonstrated that standard factor analysis cannot be used in this situation to demonstrate such factors are substantive. The substantive factor structure of the CES-D was therefore tested with two samples of younger (N=8857; age range 27-35) and older (N=6125; age range 64-65) people. Using a recent correction to CFA, we demonstrate that a two factor structure arises through purely artifactual reasons, and that the CES-D actually has only one substantive factor, providing evidence for a single continuum ranging from happiness to depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-123
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume177
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale
  • CES-D
  • Depression
  • Happiness
  • Measurement
  • Scale

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