Application of the Beck Depression Inventory-II in Iranian University Students



The Beck Depression Inventory is probably the most widely used self-report questionnaire for measurement of depression in university students. This study aimed to evaluate the psychometric characteristics of BDI-II and to detect its relation with sexuality and level of education and comparison of severity and type of symptoms in a large Iranian student sample .A sample of 2260 undergraduate and graduate students (66.8% female, 33.2% male) at the University of Shiraz completed BDI-II. We examined the reliability (internal consistency, test-retest) and validity (concurrent, factor analysis) of BDI-II. Then, we compared the rate of depression using independent t-test in male and female students and also in graduate and undergraduate students. In next step, type of depression symptoms in students was analyzed in relation to sexuality and education. The results showed that internal consistency was high (Cronbach's alpha=0.87) and it had an acceptable consistency during the time (r=0.73). The concurrent validity of the BDI-II was supported by positive correlations with different measures (GHQ-28, DASS-21). Factor analysis produced a two-factor solution including cognitive-affective and somatic dimensions for the total sample. The data were also analyzed for sex differences in the factor structure. The difference between boys and girls was not significant but undergraduate students had significantly higher scores than graduate students in BDI-II. Also, students represented various patterns of symptoms. In general, the findings supported the validity and reliability of the BDI-II in an Iranian student sample. The expression of depressive symptoms in Iranian male and female students was different. The severity of depression in students was in relation with the level of education.