Psychiatry Investig.  2018 Feb;15(2):124-132. 10.30773/pi.2017.07.19.

Validation of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale among Korean Adolescents

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Daedeok-gu Mental Health Center, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) is designed to measure the current level of depressive symptomatology in the general population. However, no review has examined whether the scale is reliable and valid among children and adolescents in Korea. The purpose of this study was to test whether the Korean form of the CES-D is valid in adolescents.
Data were obtained from 1,884 adolescents attending grades 1-3 in Korean middle schools. Reliability was evaluated by internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha). Concurrent validity was evaluated by a correlation analysis between the CES-D and other scales. Construct validity was evaluated by exploratory factor and confirmatory factor analyses.
The internal consistency coefficient for the entire group was 0.88. The CES-D was positively correlated with scales that measure negative psychological constructs, such as the State Anxiety Inventory for Children, the Korean Social Anxiety Scale for Children and Adolescents, and the Reynold Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire, but it was negatively correlated with scales that measure positive psychological constructs, such as the Korean version of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale-2. The CES-D was examined by three-dimensional exploratory factor analysis, and the three-factor structure of the scale explained 53.165% of the total variance. The variance explained by factor I was 24.836%, that explained by factor II was 15.988%, and that explained by factor III was 12.341%. The construct validity of the CES-D was tested by confirmatory factor analysis, and we applied the entire group's data using a three-factor hierarchical model. The fit index showed a level similar to those of other countries' adolescent samples.
The CES-D has high internal consistency and addresses psychological constructs similar to those addressed by other scales. The CES-D showed a three-factor structure in an exploratory factor analysis. The present findings suggest that the CES-D is a useful and reliable tool for measuring depression in Korean adolescents.


Adolescent psychiatry; Depression; Psychometrics
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