Scale name: Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS)
Scale overview: The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) is a 21-item screening instrument for the three psychological conditions of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Note: There is a 42-item version of the DASS. This post focuses on the 21-item version.
Authors: Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. F. (1995)
Response Type: Items are rated on a 4-point scale of frequency.
0 = Did not apply to me at all.
1= Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time.
2= Applied to me to a considerable degree, or a good part of time.
3 = Applied to me very much, or most of the time.
Each of the three scales (Depression, Anxiety, Stress) has 7-items worded in the first person e.g., “I felt…” or “I experienced…” and so forth.
Internal consistency values based on Cronbach Alpha calculations were strong for the DASS-21 (Antony et al., 1988).
Depression = .94
Anxiety = .87
Stress = .91
Validity: Factor analysis supported the structure of three scales. Factor loadings are reported in the Antony et al. (1988) publication.
Antony et al., (1988) reported concurrent validity data comparing the three DASS-21 scales to the Beck Depression (BDI) and Anxiety (BAI) and STAI-T measures.
DASS-21 Scales- Correlations with other measures
Depression and BDI = .79
Anxiety and BAI = .85
Stress and STAI-T = .68
Note: All of the scales in the study were correlated with values ranging from .46 to .85.
Stanford et al. (2021) included the DASS-21 in a psychology of religion study. Religious coping was assessed using the Brief RCOPE. Negative coping was linked to stress (39), anxiety (.40), and depression (.41). There was a weak, albeit statistically significant relationship between positive religious coping and anxiety (.16) but not for either stress or depression.
DASS-21 and the SCOPES Model
The three subscales of the DASS-21 screen for mental health conditions associated with the E (Emotion/Mood) dimension of the multidimensional SCOPES model.
The full set of 21 items is available from the PsycTESTS database.
The items can also be found in Table 2 of the Antony et al. 1998 article.
Permissions: According to PsycTESTS:
Test content may be reproduced and used for non-commercial research and educational purposes without seeking written permission. Distribution must be controlled, meaning only to the participants engaged in the research or enrolled in the educational activity. Any other type of reproduction or distribution of test content is not authorized without written permission from the author and publisher. Always include a credit line that contains the source citation and copyright owner when writing about or using any test.
References for the scale
Antony, M. M., Bieling, P. J., Cox, B. J., Enns, M. W., & Swinson, R. P. (1998). Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychological Assessment, 10(2), 176-181. doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1040-3518.104.22.168
Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. F. (1995). Depression Anxiety Stress Scales [Database record]. Retrieved from PsycTESTS. doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/t01004-000
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