In this study, we compared the depressive symptoms reported by Mexican American elders who scored higher and lower on a linguistic acculturation scale. Prevalence, equality of covariance matrices, equality of error variances, and factor structures were examined for the 20 items included in the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. The sample consisted of 3,050 community-dwelling Mexican Americans from five states. Significant differences were found on all parameters, indicating that level of acculturation is associated with pervasive differences in the way items are endorsed on the most commonly used inventory of depressive symptoms. Results add to literature suggesting that there may not be a universal structure to symptoms. Higher or lower scores may have different implications for people representing different cultures and/or stages of acculturation, something that both researchers and clinicians should be sensitive to when interpreting results of screening tests.
- Cross-cultural instrument generalizability
- Mexican American elders