The most current version of the test is called the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). The original version was authored by Aaron T. Beck, Robert A. Steer, and Gregory K. Brown in 1961, and published by the Psychological Corporation. A complete kit, which includes a manual and twenty-five recording forms, is $57. There is a computer-based version and a Spanish version available. Scoring and interpretation services are available as well (Arbisi).
The BDI-I and BDI-II were designed to measure the symptoms of depression as defined in the DSM IV. This one-dimensional test was updated in 1996 in order to continue to reflect the criteria for a diagnosis of depression in the DSM IV.
[...] The manual cautions practitioners that as the test is a self- assessment, response bias is possible. Computer administration, scoring, and scoring and interpretation services are available. Technical Evaluation Two different samples were used to obtain psychometric characteristics of the BDI-II. The first was a clinical sample of 500 people in one of four different outpatient clinics on the east coast of the U.S. Of these were female, and 91% were White. The average age of this sample was The other sample consisted of 120 Canadian college students, which consisted of 56% women and was described as “predominantly White,” with an average age of 19.58 (Farmer). [...]
[...] In another study college students completed the BDI-II and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Both scales were found to adequately screen for symptoms of depressive disorders according to the DSM- IV (Shean & Baldwin, 2008). Practical Evaluation The BDI-II is written at a sixth grade reading level, allowing most adults and adolescents ease in reading and taking the test as a self-assessment. The questions' content has been updated through the BDI-IA and the BDI-II to clarify and eliminate gender bias. [...]
[...] Evidence that the BDI is able to discriminate between anxiety and depression symptoms is evident in its low correlation to the Revised Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale but it did have a higher correlation with the Beck Anxiety Inventory (r=.60) (Farmer). Studies comparing the validity of the BDI against other depression scales in specific populations have been conducted as well. In a study of Parkinson's disease patients in Brazil, the BDI and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS15) were administered to 50 patients. [...]
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