International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 17 Num. 1 - March 2017


The Hierarchical Factor Structure of the Spanish Version of Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale -21

Volume 17 Num. 1 - March 2017 - Pages 97-105


Francisco J. Ruiz , Mª Belén García Martín , Juan C Suárez Falcón , Paula Odriozola González


The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) is one of the most widely used self-reports for the measurement of emotional symptoms. However, some controversy remains concerning its factor structure. Additionally, more data of the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the DASS-21 are needed. The aim of this study was to explore the hierarchical factor structure of the DASS-21 and to further analyze its psychometric properties in Spain and Colombia. Four samples with a total of 2980 participants completed the Spanish version of the DASS-21. Two of the samples were composed of undergraduates of each country and the other two samples were recruited online. The results strongly supported a hierarchical factor structure of the DASS-21 consisting of three first-order factors (depression, anxiety, and stress) and one second-order factor (emotional symptoms). Initial evidence of measurement invariance was found for country (Spain vs. Colombia) and sample (undergraduates vs. online). The DASS-21 showed good psychometric properties in all samples. The DASS-21 seems to be a good option to measure emotional symptoms in Spain and Colombia, and its hierarchical factor structure indicates that it provides general and specific measures of emotional symptoms that are theoretically meaningful.

Key words:

depression, anxiety, DASS-21, factor hierarchical structure, emotional symptoms

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