Background: The original study of Radloff (Appl Psychol Meas. 1977. 1:385-401) on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) indicated a 4-factor model in the adult population. However, the factor structure of the CES-D in Asian adolescents has not been extensively validated. The aim of this study was to examine the factor structure of the Chinese version of the CES-D in a large representative Taiwanese adolescent population. Method: A total of 10 116 adolescents completed the Chinese version of the CES-D. We used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the adequacy of 5 models of the factor structure in adolescents who were divided into 4 groups by sex and age. We also enrolled the variables of suicide tendency, insomnia, and peer relationships into the confirmatory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of the CES-D and examined the correlations between the CES-D factors and these variables. Results: The results of this study indicated that the four-factor model (depressed affect, somatic symptoms, interpersonal problems, and positive affect) had the highest validity in Taiwanese adolescents. We also found that although the 4 factors of the CES-D were correlated with each other, their correlations with suicide tendency, insomnia, and peer relationships were different. Conclusions: This study supported the usefulness of the Chinese version of the CES-D as a tool to understand the concept of depression in Taiwanese adolescents.
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