For community-level approaches to preventing depression, measures of depression that are brief as well as valid are needed, particularly given competing demands in surveys for assessment of other outcomes including substance use, delinquency, and their associated risk factors. This study examined the validity of a 4-item adolescent depression measure, the Communities That Care Brief Depression Scale (CTC-BDS). Data were obtained from a survey of adolescents (N = 3939) participating in the Community Youth Development Study (CYDS), a community-randomized trial involving 24 U.S. towns. The Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item (PHQ-9) was the criterion standard used to define major depressive disorder. Sensitivity and specificity of the CTC-BDS were both > .8 at a cutpoint of 6 and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was .91. Its strong psychometric properties and brevity make the CTC-BDS a useful measure for communities to monitor levels of youth depression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology