Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition ( BDI-II )
Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Unit 3535 Market Street, Room 2032 Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax: (215) 573-3717 Contact first author via e-mail.
Beck, A.T., Steer, R.A., & Brown, G.K. (1996). Manual for the Beck Depression Inventory-II. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.
The BDI-II is a widely used 21-item self-report inventory measuring the severity of depression in adolescents and adults. The BDI-II was revised in 1996 to be more consistent with DSM-IV criteria for depression. For example, individuals are asked to respond to each question based on a two-week time period rather than the one-week timeframe on the BDI. The BDI-II is widely used as an indicator of the severity of depression, but not as a diagnostic tool, and numerous studies provide evidence for its reliability and validity across different populations and cultural groups. It has also been used in numerous treatment outcome studies and in numerous studies with trauma-exposed individuals.
Measure Type:General Assessment
Raw scores of 0 to 13 indicates minimal depression, 14 to 19 indicates mild depression, 20 to 28 indicates moderate depression, and 29 to 63 indicates severe depression.
Pros & Cons
1. Due to the face validity of the BDI-II, underreporting and overreporting may be likely. 2. Individuals with low education and some Spanish speakers have difficulty with the response format. 3. The procedure used to determine the cut scores may increase the likelihood of false positives or overdiagnoses of depression among clients. 4. The wording in some items asks the respondent to compare their current state to a prior one (e.g., than usual, as ever). Individuals with chronic trauma since childhood sometimes respond by circling a zero because they do not feel worse than "usual." 5. The normative sample is predominantly White (91%). 6. Although the measure can be used for adolescents, the norms were gathered with adults. 7. The majority of psychometric studies conducted with adolescents in the United States have involved predominantly Caucasian samples and have not included large numbers of individuals of lower socio-economic status. More research is needed on the use of the BDI-II with diverse groups of adolescents.
The author provided comments, which were incorporated.
Editor of Review:
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D., Robyn Igelman, M.A., Nicole Taylor, Ph.D., Madhur Kulkarni, M.S.