Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Psychometric Properties of the Arabic Version of the Depressive Cognition Scale in First-Year Adolescent Egyptian Nursing Students

Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Psychometric Properties of the Arabic Version of the Depressive Cognition Scale in First-Year Adolescent Egyptian Nursing Students

Article excerpt

Background: Identifying depressive cognitions in adolescent nursing students can be an important step to prevent the development of clinical depression, which is positively associated with suicide. Purpose: This study focused on the psychometric testing of the Arabic version of the Depressive Cognition Scale (A-DCS) among 170 first-year adolescent Egyptian nursing students. Methods: The questionnaire was assessed for internal consistency, homogeneity, and construct validity using factor analysis and convergent validity. Results: Cronbach's alpha for (A-DCS) was .86. The homogeneity of the instrument was supported by item-to-total correlations between .30 and .70. Factor extraction generated only one factor with eigenvalues greater than 1, which is consistent with the English version. The (A-DCS) total score had a strong significant correlation with the Alienation Scale scores ( r = .51, p < .01), indicating convergent validity. Conclusion: This scale has the potential to become a useful screening tool for depressive cognitions among Egyptian nursing students.

Keywords: depression; depressive cognition; nursing students; adolescents

Suicide is one of three leading causes of death worldwide among 15 to 34 year olds, and its prevalence is increasing significantly among adolescents (Afifi, 2006; Bertolote, Fleishmann, & Butchart, 2006). Recent data collected from Alexandria, Egypt, showed that 30% of 1,621 high school adolescents experienced a strong death wish (Afifi, 2006). In fact, depression is a strong predictor to suicide (Afifi, 2006). The evidence has now shown that adolescents not only experience the whole spectrum of mood disorders but also suffer from significant associated morbidity and mortality (Kloos, Collins, Weller, & Weller, 2007; Son & Kirchner, 2000). Although frequently unrecognized, depression is common (Son & Kirchner, 2000). Depression is a potentially fatal disorder; of the 30,000 Americans who commit suicide every year, 90% have a mental disorder, usually depression (Halter, 2004). Within the next 20 years, depression is predicted to become one of the leading causes of disability worldwide (Badamgarav et al., 2003; Cashman, Hale, Candib, Nimiroski, & Brookings, 2004). Statistics have shown that depression affects 4%-8% of adolescents (Louters, 2006). Many factors play a role in adolescents' depression, including genetics, family dysfunction, peer problems, chronic illness, prior depressive episodes, and having a first-degree relative with a history of depression (Carlson, 2000; Castiglia, 2000; Louters, 2006).

In fact, studying depression among adolescents is important especially among the nursing students. Nursing students, the adolescents of today, are the nurses of tomorrow who will deal with human behavior. Their psychological well-being is an important factor in managing their clients' conditions (Bekhet, ElGuenidi, & Zauszniewski, in press). Healthy nursing students are likely to become healthy nurses who can then model and promote healthy lifestyles with their patients (Ahmadi, Toobaee, & Alishahi, 2004). A recent study conducted by Ahmadi and colleagues (2004) showed that a significant number of Middle East nursing students were mildly to moderately depressed with feelings of hopelessness (44%), and some of them had suicidal thoughts. Depression decreases the function of students and disturbs the relationship between the nurse and the patient (Ahmadi, 1994a, 1994b). To decrease depression, the rate of depression should be identified.

A recent qualitative study conducted by Dzurec, Allchin, and Angler (2007) aimed at examining 53 first-year nursing students' reasons for their own or their peers' experiences of feeling down or depressed. Fifty of the responses reflected participants' experiences of feeling down or depressed. The most identified themes were overload, or sense of being overwhelmed, and loneliness or isolation. Similarly, Sax, Bryant, and Gilmartin (2002) demonstrated that the complexity embedded in transitioning to college accounted for depression and feeling down. …

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