The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2005 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 227–239, June 2005
How to Cite
Henry, J. D. and Crawford, J. R. (2005), The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44: 227–239. doi: 10.1348/014466505X29657
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Received 24 March 2003; revised version received 2 February 2004
Objectives. To test the construct validity of the short-form version of the Depression anxiety and stress scale (DASS-21), and in particular, to assess whether stress as indexed by this measure is synonymous with negative affectivity (NA) or whether it represents a related, but distinct, construct. To provide normative data for the general adult population.
Design. Cross-sectional, correlational and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).
Methods. The DASS-21 was administered to a non-clinical sample, broadly representative of the general adult UK population (N=1,794). Competing models of the latent structure of the DASS-21 were evaluated using CFA.
Results. The model with optimal fit (RCFI = 0.94) had a quadripartite structure, and consisted of a general factor of psychological distress plus orthogonal specific factors of depression, anxiety, and stress. This model was a significantly better fit than a competing model that tested the possibility that the Stress scale simply measures NA.
Conclusions. The DASS-21 subscales can validly be used to measure the dimensions of depression, anxiety, and stress. However, each of these subscales also taps a more general dimension of psychological distress or NA. The utility of the measure is enhanced by the provision of normative data based on a large sample.