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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


VILLALOBOS GALVIS, Fredy H.. Factorial structure and psychometric properties of a scale for depression among university students in Colombia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.2, pp.110-116. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE:To determine the psychometric properties and factor structure of the Center for Epidemiological Studies depression scale (CES-D) with a sample of Colombian university students. METHODS:A non-probabilistic convenience sample of 355 students from two universities (62% women and 38% men) were selected according to quotas from the educational institutions, a random sample of groups, and volunteer participants. The Spanish version of the CES-D was modified by extending the evaluation period to two weeks. The total score was calculated for each scale and factor; the exploratory factor analysis was conducted using the method of principal components. RESULTS:The four factors: depressive affect, somatic symptoms, positive affect, and interpersonal relations, accounted for 55.9% of the variance. The analysis showed high levels of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.88). The individual factors showed variations in internal consistency and converged around a single, secondary factor. The factor structure matched the original theory, even with variations in the factor structure for the whole sample, as well as by gender. Although scores differed according to the sex of the person being evaluated, the internal consistency of the scale as a whole remained over 0.87 for each sex. The proposed cutoff levels for the test were: 39 points for the general population, 35 for males, and 42 for females, all above the fourth quintile. CONCLUSIONS:The CES-D scale has satisfactory psychometric properties and can be recommended for use in university students. These results lend themselves to the possibility of using this scale in both clinical and epidemiological studies.

Keywords : Depression; factor analysis; statistical; psychometrics; validity of tests; students; Colombia.

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