Adolescent Depression Scale Retains Validity Across Sex, Marital Status

Hispanic high school students, the teenage boy is crying with his hands in his face and the teenage girl is comforting him
Current research signifies the validity and fairness of the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale for assessing depression among adolescents, regardless of their marital status or sex.

The psychometric properties of the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS) are adequate across sex and marital status, according to results published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Amin Mousavi, PhD, from the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, and colleagues evaluated data from 407 students from the Islamic Azad University-Tehran Central, Tehran, Iran. The overwhelming majority (88.9%) of participants were female, and the mean age of all sample students was 22.6 years. The students were studying either psychology or social sciences.

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The investigators used Ordinal Logistic Regression to assess differential item functioning of KADS items across sex and marital status. Effect size examination suggests that the differential item functioning observed in 3 items across sex and 1 across marital status is insignificant.

The researchers commented that the lack of male participants may have affected the study findings, and recommended a similar analysis with a more balanced population. The education level and area of study of the participating population also may have affected the findings. Therefore, the researchers suggest enrolling a more demographically diverse population in future studies.

“[Our] results showed the adequacy of unidimensional factorial structure and appropriateness of using the Partial Credit Model for analyzing KADS,” the researchers wrote. “Examination of effect sizes suggested that observed [differential item functioning across sex and marital status] is practically negligible. Likewise, very low values of ν2 suggested negligible differential test functioning across gender and marital status. These important findings signify the validity and fairness of KADS for assessing depression among adolescents regardless of their gender or marital status,” they concluded.


Mousavi A, Shojaee M, Shahidi M, Cui Y, Kutcher S. Measurement invariance and psychometric analysis of Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale across gender and marital status. J Affect Disord. 2019;253:394-401.