The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) is a widely used screening tool for depression among adults and children. However, the validity of the CES-D has yet to be established among justice-involved youths, a population known to have higher levels of depressive symptoms in comparison to samples of community adolescents. The current study examines the psychometric characteristics of the eight-item version of the CES-D among newly arrested youths. Data were obtained through a local health coach service project, designed to provide linkage to treatment for justice-involved youths who are drug involved, test positive for HIV or other STDs, or have high levels of depressive symptoms. A multigroup, confirmatory factor analysis of the depression symptoms for subgroups defined by gender/race self-identification was conducted to assess the psychometric characteristics of the CES-D among these newly arrested youths. Results produced statistical evidence in support of one factor in the eight-item depression data and a similar factor structure across the various gender/racial groups. Criterion-related validity of the depression factor was also explored. Findings support the usefulness of the eight-item CES-D for use among gender-diverse and ethnically diverse youths.
- health services for youths
- juvenile justice
- juvenile justice entry health services
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health