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Psychometric properties of the DASS-21 in Malaysia
chapterposted on 01.01.2009, 00:00 authored by David MellorDavid Mellor, Kathleen Moore, J Yeow
The use of scales to measure constructs in populations or contexts other than that in which they were normed is highly controversial. Despite this, the use of scales without reference to 'local' norms is still widespread. In this study we examine the reliability, factor structure and convergent validity of the short form of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21), in a convenience sample of 191 people recruited from the general population in Malaysia. Confirmatory factor analysis suggests that a three factor solution provides an acceptable fit, however these three factors are highly correlated. Scores on the depression, anxiety, and stress scales of the DASS-21 correlate with the BDI-II at only moderate levels, suggesting that convergent validity of the depression scale is weak, and that there are not differential relationships between the BDI-II and the three DASS scales. Issues related to the possible role of cultural factors in response patterns, and the need for a greater understanding of the manifestations of psychological distress and how it relates the DASS-21 scales in Malaysia are discussed.