The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a widely used instrument in the measuring of depression and its severity. BDI is a simple instrument: there are twenty-one multiple-choice items; the respondent answers according to his or her feelings as remembered over the past two weeks. The BDI was developed in 1961 for use in care situations so that patients who may have a mood disorder could be detected, but was not originally designed to make a diagnosis. The instrument was revised in accordance to changes made in DSM IV (APA, 1994) for Major Depressive Disorder — the items now match more closely the list of symptoms in the DSM — and is now used primarily to measure the severity of depression in patients diagnosed with depression, though other uses (including more purely diagnostic purposes) remain prominent as well. However, some critics still believe that the BDI, or any self-report instrument, is insufficient to diagnose the disorder of depression. (Coyne, 1994) It should be noted that BDI is often used to screen, or as part of a diagnosis, rather than being used as a singular diagnostic tool.
[...] 905) The literature on BDI tends to confirm an understanding of the limitations on the validity of the test. Some of these limitations are intrinsic to the test itself, to the likely subjects of the instrument (i.e., individuals with depression), to the nature of self-reporting as a process itself. The "genre" of studies generally depends on checking the results of the BDI against the results of some other test, which begs the question of the validity of these tests in general. [...]
[...] Contradictory interpretations are possible: not all depression tests showed signs of susceptibility to fake-good responding, suggesting that the issue is psychometric, but the inverse relation between this susceptibility and a test's validity can be interpreted as evidence that, the better a test measures depression, the more likely it is to detect on a fundamental link between depression and response style. (p. 282) The BDI-II retains a fair amount of validity despite the loss of fidelity at the extreme low end of the scale and the high "face validity" of the instrument, which tends to make respondent manipulation fairly easy. [...]
[...] Finally, the paper will conclude with recommendations, drawn from the literature, on enhancing the instrument's validity through both using it for those populations for which it works best, and using it in conjunction with other instruments and clinical practices in order to "make up" for the well-known collapse of its validity at the extreme low end of the scoring . Article Summaries Research The following articles on the complications of self-report instruments were found via the discovery of what might be called a "seminal" article Parry & Crossley (1950). [...]
[...] (1998) "Is the Beck Depression Inventory Reliable Over Time? an Evaluation of Multiple Test-Retest Reliability in a No clinical College Student Sample." Journal of Personality Assessment. 222-232. Baron, P., & Campbell, T. L. (1993). Gender differences in the expression of depressive symptoms in middle adolescence. Adolescence, 28: 903-908. Barrera, M., & Garrison-Jones, C. V. (1988). "Properties of the Beck Depression Inventory as a screening instrument for adolescent depression." Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 16: 263-273. Beck A. T., Ward C., [...]
[...] The second part will examine how depression as a disorder in particular can potentially play a role in impacting the validity of self-reporting instrument. This disorder, and related mood disorders, have an important effect on perceptions, and social stigmas (as demonstrated in postpartum depression, above), the need for what is called "social desirability" amongst respondents, and factors related to depressive and even some physical disorders (such as chronic back pain or other physical illnesses) that may also confound validity amongst certain populations. [...]
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