"The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population."
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I➜The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, also abbreviated CES-D is a widely used 20-item rating scale. Those items were selected from previously validated depression scales (e.g., Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961; Gardner, 1968; Raskin, Schulterbrandt, Reatig, & McKeon, 1969; Zung, 1965). The CES-D was designed to cover the major symptoms of depression identified in the literature, with an emphasis on affective components and may be self or interviewer-administered.
The scale used is a Likert scale and each item is scored from 0-3 and this means that a person can score between 0 and 60. Higher scores indicate more depressive symptoms. A score of 16 or higher has been used extensively as the cut-off point for high depressive symptoms on this scale (Radloff, 1977). However, false positives on the order of 15% to 20% have resulted from use of this cut-off point, leading some researchers to suggest that a higher cut-off point be used (Boyd, Weissman, Thompson, & Myers, 1982; Zich, Attkisson, & Greenfield, 1990).