Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Validation of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale in Black Single Mothers

Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Validation of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale in Black Single Mothers

Article excerpt

Background and Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the factor structure of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale in a community sample of Black single mothers and to evaluate the scale's construct validity. Methods: Principal components and exploratory factor analysis were used. The participants responded to the CES-D scale and Spielberger's State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory. Results: The final sample consisted of 208 Black single mothers aged 18-45 years. A 2-factor structure was accepted. Construct validity was confirmed via significant correlations with the anger scales. A method artifact for the 2-factor solution was ruled out. Conclusion: The CES-D scale is valid for use with Black single mothers. Additional psychometric evidence for the CES-D for Black single mothers is warranted.

Keywords: depression; factor analysis; single mothers; mental health

The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale (Radloff, 1977) is the most widely used instrument to measure depression, largely because the instrument was designed for use with a community-dwelling population. The literature is replete with recent methodological studies that have examined the factor structure of the CES-D using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with a wide variety of populations (Beseler & Stallones, 2006; C. H. Clark, Mahoney, Clark, & Eriksen, 2002; Kazarian, 2009; Yen, Robins, & Lin, 2000). However, methodological studies examining the factor structure of the CES-D for African Americans are limited (Callahan & Wolinsky, 1994; McCallion & Kolomer, 2000), and none of the studies have examined the factor structure in Black single mothers.

Depression is a serious mental illness that negatively impacts physical health, quality of life, psychosocial functioning, and causing disability and death for some sufferers (Borsbo, Peolsson, & Gerdle, 2009; Coyne, 2009; HealthyPeople.gov, 2013; National Institute of Mental Health, 2009). Depression in mothers contributes to their poor health and negatively impacts the health, well-being, and development of their children (Boyd, Zayas, & McKee, 2006; Leschied, Chiodo, Whitehead, & Hurley, 2005; Scalzo, Williams, & Holmbeck, 2005). The devastating negative impact of depression on the health and wellbeing of individuals and families has made the identification and prevention of depression in those at-risk critical public health priorities (HealthyPeople.gov, 2013; World Health Organization, 2013).

Single mothers are a vulnerable population at risk for depressive symptoms. Published studies show that 20%-73% of single mothers report levels of depressive symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of mild to moderate depression (Peden, Rayens, Hall, & Grant, 2004; Samuels-Dennis, 2007). These numbers are slightly higher for Black single mothers who are at particular risk because studies examining depression in this population show that 47%-70% of these mothers report clinically significant depressive symptoms (Hatcher, 2008; Kneipp, Welch, Wood, Yucha, & Yarandi, 2007; Siefert et ah, 2007). This rate is more than 6 times the rate of depression in the general population of U.S. adults (6.7%). Black single mothers disproportionately experience the socioeconomic, psychosocial, and cultural risk factors shown to increase depressive symptoms. These mothers disproportionately live in poverty with lack of social support (Mather, 2010; U.S. Census Bureau, 2007; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). They also frequently perceive racism, a culturally specific psychological stressor, that additionally increases their risk for depressive symptoms (R. Clark, Anderson, Clark, & Williams, 1999; Pascoe, Stolfi, & Ormond, 2006; Thomas & Gonzalez-Prendes, 2011).

Despite the aforementioned facts, depression often goes unrecognized and untreated in Black women (Waite & Killian, 2007,2008,2009). …

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