Correlations between the Bdi and Ces-D in a Sample of Adolescent Mothers

By Wilcox, Holly; Field, Tiffany et al. | Adolescence, Fall 1998 | Go to article overview

Correlations between the Bdi and Ces-D in a Sample of Adolescent Mothers


Wilcox, Holly, Field, Tiffany, Prodromidis, Margarita, Scafidi, Frank, Adolescence


ABSTRACT

Adolescent mothers were administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC). They also were asked if they preferred the BDI or CES-D. The findings indicated that BDI and CES-D scores were significantly correlated, and that more adolescent mothers preferred the CES-D. Both the BDI and CES-D were correlated with the DISC; however, the BDI was more highly correlated with the Major Depression subscale, and the CES-D with the Dysthymia subscale.

Depression is common among adolescents, affecting between 7% and 33% depending on its definition, assessment, and severity (Petersen, Compas, Brooks-Gunn, Stemmler, Ey, & Grant, 1993). Radloff (1991) found a dramatic increase in depression between the ages of 13 and 15, leveling off at approximately 17-18. Childbirth seems to increase the risk of depression, with Colletta (1983) reporting a rate of 59% for mothers aged 15 to 19.

Early pregnancy is also common. In a study on postpartum depression, age was made a covariate because of the disproportionate number of adolescents in the random sample of depressed mothers (Field, Healy, Goldstein, Perry, Bendell, Schanberg, Zimmerman, & Kuhn, 1988).

Identifying depression in adolescent mothers is crucial for their own well-being as well as that of their infants. Teenage mothers are noted to have less realistic developmental expectations and less desirable child-rearing practices (Field, Widmayer, Stringer, & Iganoff, 1980). Moreover, infants of adolescent mothers are more likely to have cognitive, emotional, and physical problems (Field et al., 1980). However, an understanding of adolescent depression has been hampered by a lack of well-established techniques for identifying this population (Roberts, Lewinsohn, & Seeley, 1991).

Two of the most commonly used instruments for detecting depression among adolescents are the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). The Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961) has been used in over 200 studies on psychiatrically diagnosed patients (piotrowski, Sherry, & Keller, 1985) and normal populations (Steer, Beck, & Garrison, 1986). The BDI has also been widely used to detect depression in normal adolescent samples (Barrera & GarrisonJones, 1988; Gibbs, 1985; Kaplan, Hong, & Weinhold, 1984; Ten, 1982), in psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents (Strober, Green, & Carlson, 1981), and adolescent mothers (Colletta, 1983; Field et al., 1980; Steer, Scholl, & Beck, 1990).

The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was developed as part of a National Institute of Mental Health study to measure depressive symptoms among adults (Radloff, 1977). The CES-D has been used less frequently with adolescents than has the BDI. However, it has been validated with adolescents (Radloff, 1991) and adolescent mothers (Colletta, 1983; McKenry, Browne, Kotch, & Symons, 1990).

A correlation of .70 between the CES-D and the BDI has been reported for a sample of high school students (Roberts et al., 1991), indicating that they are comparable but different. Thus, the CES-D and BDI may be measuring different facets of depression. For example, the BDI has been shown to differentiate nondepressed, moderately depressed, and severely depressed individuals (Beck et al., 1961; Beck, 1967), concentrating more on somatic symptoms than does the CES-D (Campbell & Cohn, 1991). The CES-D primarily focuses on cognitive and affective symptomatology, with an emphasis on depressed mood (Radloff, 1977). Another difference is that the CES-D does not have an item on suicide, but does include four reverse-scored positive affect items (e.g., the degree to which one feels happy, hopeful, enjoys life, or feels good about oneself). …

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