Assessing Depression and Suicidality in Asian-Americans

Zornitsa Kalibatseva, Ivan H. C. Wu, Frederick T. L. Leong

Research output: Other contribution


This chapter provides a review of the most commonly used measures of depression and suicidality among Asian-Americans. The goal of the chapter is to inform clinicians about the psychometric properties of instruments assessing depression and suicidality among Asian-Americans. We examine the reliability, validity, and utility of the Center for Epidemiological Studies—Depression, Beck Depression Inventory, Geriatric Depression Scale, Hamilton Rating Scale of Depression, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale. Given the dearth of literature on suicidality measures, the chapter briefly reviews a few instruments that have been used in Asian samples. Most of the measures demonstrated adequate psychometric properties and could be used in their original form or with minor alterations (e.g., remove positively worded items). However, all of the measures need to be used with caution with Asian-American clients and complemented with culturally sensitive diagnostic interviews. More research is needed to establish the measurement equivalence (internal validity) and specificity and sensitivity (external validity) of the available depression and suicide measures for Asian-Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Media of outputBook chapter
StatePublished - 2014


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