The present study applied item response theory to examine the psychometric properties of the Asian Adolescent Depression Scale and to construct a short form among 1,084 teenagers recruited from secondary schools in Hong Kong. Findings suggested that some items of the full form reflected higher levels of severity and were more discriminating than others, and the Asian Adolescent Depression Scale was useful in measuring a broad range of depressive severity in community youths. Differential item functioning emerged in several items where females reported higher depressive severity than males. In the short form construction, preliminary validation suggested that, relative to the 20-item full form, our derived short form offered significantly greater diagnostic performance and stronger discriminatory ability in differentiating depressed and nondepressed groups, and simultaneously maintained adequate measurement precision with a reduced response burden in assessing depression in the Asian adolescents. Cultural variance in depressive symptomatology and clinical implications are discussed.
- adolescent depression
- differential item functioning
- item response theory
- psychometric validation