Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Gary L. Canivez

Thesis Committee Member

Assege HaileMariam

Thesis Committee Member

Ronan S. Bernas

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the construct validity of a newer test used to measure depressive symptoms, the Teate Depression Inventory (TDI). The primary focus of the study was on Middle Eastern/Arab Americans (ME/AA). Previous research has demonstrated that ethnic minority groups may experience and present internalizing disorders, such as depression and anxiety differently than the majority ethnic group, White/Caucasian (W/C) individuals. Further, research suggests that there is a disparity in mental health care among ethnic minority groups, starting with detecting and diagnosing mental health disorders. Inaccurate detection and diagnoses informs inaccurate treatment, further creating a disparity. Research of this nature is imperative to ensure ethnically diverse groups are receiving proper treatment by first ensuring the measurement tools used to detect and diagnosis internalizing disorders demonstrate strong psychometric properties. Previous research has demonstrated support for the construct validity of the TDI; however, there is limited research on its use with ethnically diverse groups.

The present study addressed the following: 1) Is the TDI a valid measure of depression in Middle Eastern/Arab Americans? 2) Does the TDI demonstrate convergent and discriminant validity with the General Behavior Inventory (GBI) and State-Trait Inventory for Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety (STICSA)? It was predicted that the TDI and GBI Depression scales would produce higher validity coefficients, demonstrating convergent validity, while the TDI and STICSA and TDI and GBI Hypomanic/Biphasic scales would produce lower validity coefficients, demonstrating discriminant validity. Overall Convergent validity coefficients between TDI and GBI Depression scores were larger than discriminant validity coefficients for the total sample, ME/AA participants, and W/C participants. No significant differences were found between scores obtained by ME/AA participants and W/C participants, indicating that the TDI appeared to measure depression symptoms in ME/AA individuals similar to W/C participants. Results suggested support for the construct validity of the TDI with use among ethnically diverse individuals. Limitations such as sample size, self-reporting, and representativeness were noted.

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