Dimensional and hierarchical models of depression using the Beck Depression Inventory-II in an Arab college student sample

Al-Turkait, Fawziyah A.; Ohaeri, Jude U.
January 2010
BMC Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 10, p60
Academic Journal
Background: An understanding of depressive symptomatology from the perspective of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) could facilitate valid and interpretable comparisons across cultures. The objectives of the study were: (i) using the responses of a sample of Arab college students to the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) in CFA, to compare the "goodness of fit" indices of the original dimensional three-and two-factor first-order models, and their modifications, with the corresponding hierarchical models (i.e., higher - order and bifactor models); (ii) to assess the psychometric characteristics of the BDI-II, including convergent/discriminant validity with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25). Method: Participants (N = 624) were Kuwaiti national college students, who completed the questionnaires in class. CFA was done by AMOS, version 16. Eleven models were compared using eight "fit" indices. Results: In CFA, all the models met most "fit" criteria. While the higher-order model did not provide improved fit over the dimensional first - order factor models, the bifactor model (BFM) had the best fit indices (CMNI/DF = 1.73; GFI = 0.96; RMSEA = 0.034). All regression weights of the dimensional models were significantly different from zero (P < 0.001). Standardized regression weights were mostly 0.27-0.60, and all covariance paths were significantly different from zero. The regression weights of the BFM showed that the variance related to the specific factors was mostly accounted for by the general depression factor, indicating that the general depression score is an adequate representation of severity. The BDI-II had adequate internal consistency and convergent/discriminant validity. The mean BDI score (15.5, SD = 8.5) was significantly higher than those of students from other countries (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The broadly adequate fit of the various models indicates that they have some merit and implies that the relationship between the domains of depression probably contains hierarchical and dimensional elements. The bifactor model is emerging as the best way to account for the clinical heterogeneity of depression. The psychometric characteristics of the BDI-II lend support to our CFA results.


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