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Personality Assessment Inventory

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Personality Assessment Inventory


The Beck Depression Inventory is a testing tool which is used to evaluate the continuation and severity of the symptoms of depression, as recorded in the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2000). The test includes questions which asses the symptoms of serious depression, which may possibly call for hospitalization. The latest revised edition replaces the BDI and the BDI-1A, which includes items intending to indicate symptoms of severe depression, which may require hospitalization. Items include been distorted to specify increases or decreases in sleep and appetite. The most important purpose of the new version of the BDI was to have it conform more directly to the diagnostic criteria for depression.

Characteristics and Purposes

According to (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 2008) the 21 items self-report corresponds to a symptom of depression is summed to give a single score for the BDI-II. There is a four-point scale for each item ranging from 0 to 3. On two items (16 and 18) there are seven options to indicate either an increase or decrease of appetite and sleep. Cut score guidelines for the BDI-II are given with the recommendation that thresholds be adjusted based on the characteristics of the sample, and the purpose for use of the BDI-II. Total score of 0-13 is considered minimal range, 14-19 is mild, 20-28 is moderate, and 29-63 is severe.

Major Theory of the Beck Depression Inventory

Moilanen's (1995) study of adolescent depression also attempts to validate Beck's theory in a new way, as Beck worked mostly with adults. In fact, she found that the student's depression was frequently connected with dysfunctional thinking and negative future attitudes. Moilanen (1995) recommend that the cognitive theory has reasonable validity for resituating the symptoms of depression for adolescents, and that the subject's depression is strongly associated with his or her ability to deal with dysfunctional attitudes and beliefs, as well as doubt towards the future.

Moilanen’s (1995) results might not sound accurately believable, since she did discover a number of discrepancies: "However, the results of this study were not entirely consistent with Beck's theory, particularly the proposition that a predominantly negative self-schema underlies the information processing of depressed individuals." (Moilanen, 1995, p.440). Most people with depression can be helped with treatment. But, most depressed people never get the help they need. When depression isn’t treated, it can get worse. Many adolescents with depression can be helped with counseling and some with counseling and medication. Counseling means speaking with a trained professional and medication is used to treat severe depression.

Differences between the Target & General Population

Depression in adolescents has become a major interest for clinical researchers since the early 1980’s. Recognition of the adequacy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) criteria to diagnosed depression in children and adolescents has contributed to the advancement of research in this area. Although a common conception of depression is developing among investigators, the prevalence of depressive disorders in children and adolescents remains difficult to assess precisely, due to the heterogeneity of samples and the instruments used in the studies. Instruments vary from self-report questionnaires to structured diagnostic interviews. The fact that subject samples are often drawn from school populations limits the generalizability of results.

Fleming and Offord (1990) reported prevalence rates of depression, using diagnostic criteria from major depressive disorder, to be between 0.4% and 6.4%. However, the “clinic” level of depressive symptomatology is often inferred from school samples using cut-off scores on self-report measures of depressive symptoms. This clinical level of depression in the general population is estimated to be between 4% and 12% in the United States (Reynolds, 1992). The term depressive symptoms or adolescents who are depressed are used in this study to designated a clinical level of depressive symptoms and refer to a score of 16 or higher on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; Beck, 1978).

Depressive symptoms are known to increase markedly between childhood and adolescence (Angold, 1988; Radloff, 1991; Rutter, 1986); however, results of studies examining an increase with age in depressive symptoms in both genders during adolescence are less consistent (Baron, 1993; Connelly, Johnston, Brown, Mackay, & Blackstock, 1993; Marcote, 1996). Whereas boys present a similar or even higher level of depression than girls prior to adolescence, an increase in depression among girls is evident during the teenage years, the ratio of depression between girls and boys being about 2 to 1 in this age group.

Adolescents are defenseless to gender socialization demands since they are in the practice of developing gender role recognition. They will be inclined to accept stereotyped opportunity of their own, as well as of their peers’, actions. In this environment, girls turn out to be more prone to depression since their gender-related role is more depressogenic, while the male gender-typed characteristics, recognized as instrumental characteristics, act as a safeguard against depressive symptoms.

A number of studies have supported the intensification of gender-related characteristics during early adolescence (Alfier, Ruble, & Higgins, 1996). Galambos, Almeida, and Peterson (1990) found that a gender difference on masculinity becomes evident between grades six and eight, with boys differentiating, themselves from girls by the eighth grade. Interestingly, it was found that during this age range girls increasingly support gender equality whereas, boys show the reverse pattern. The authors suggest that there is a stronger social pressure for boys to model masculine stereotypes



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