Self-report measures of depression

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Accepted Version of the original article.

Boyle, G. J. (2004). Self-report measures of depression. In G. J. Boyle & D. H. Saklofske (Eds)., The psychology of individual differences: Vol 4 clinical and applied research (pp. 1-19). London: Sage Publications. ISBN: 0-7619-4409-5

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© Copyright The British Psychological Society, 1985




This paper examines some aspects of the psychometric adequacy of existing self-report depression measures, so that clinicians might better appreciate their, reliability and validity. Issues addressed include the desirability of moderate rather than maximum test-retest and item homogeneity/internal consistency estimates; the distinction between- measurement at the surface syndrome level vs. that at the fundamental source state/trait level; the importance of appropriate rather than arbitrary factor analytic procedures; and the need for multivariate measures instead of the single-scale instruments so often employed to measure depression in isolation from interacting emotions such as anxiety or stress. Apart from these more general issues, a number of specific criticisms is considered, along with recommendations for better self-report measures of depression.