Department of Family Medicine
Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale
LS Radloff (1977)
Background and Development:
The CES-D was developed for use in studies of the epidemiology of depressive symptomatology in the general population. Items were selected from previously validated scales and cover the major components of depressive symptamotology. The scale is not intended for a clinical diagnosis of depression.
Assessment of the Measure in Elderly Populations
The CES-D was evaluated for subsets of the original population including persons older than 64. Coefficient alpha remained high (> 0.85) in this subgroup. Test-retest correlations remained >0.40.
Assessment of the Measure in Minority Populations
The CES-D was evaluated for subsets of the original population including Blacks. Coefficient alpha remained high (> 0.85) in this subgroups. Test-retest correlation, however, was <0.40 for this group.
Design Strengths and Weaknesses:
The CES-D is not intended as a clinical diagnostic tool and interpretations of individual scores should not be made. Group means should only be used in reference to other groups. The internal reliability and consistency is good for all groups tested (Race, age, education).
The full questionnaire is included in the original publication.
Radloff, LS (1977), The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Appl Psychological Measurement 1, 385-401.