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Adolescent depressive symptoms in India, Australia and USA: Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling of cross-national invariance and predictions by gender and age

Lewis, A.J., Rowland, B., Tran, A., Solomon, R.F., Patton, G.C., Catalano, R.F. and Toumbourou, J.W. (2017) Adolescent depressive symptoms in India, Australia and USA: Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling of cross-national invariance and predictions by gender and age. Journal of Affective Disorders, 212 . pp. 150-159.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.01.020
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Abstract

Background
The present study compares depressive symptoms in adolescents from three countries: Mumbai, India; Seattle, United States; and Melbourne, Australia measured using the Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ). The study cross nationally compares SMFQ depressive symptom responses by age and gender.

Methods
Data from a cross-nationally matched survey were used to compare factorial and measurement characteristics from samples of students from Grade 7 and 9 in Mumbai, India (n=3268) with the equivalent cohorts in the Washington State, USA (n=1907) and Victoria, Australia (n=1900). Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling (ESEM) was used to cross-nationally examine factor structure and measurement invariance.

Results
A number of reports suggesting that SMFQ is uni-dimensional were not supported in findings from any country. A model with two factors was a better fit and suggested a first factor clustering symptoms that were affective and physiologically based symptoms and a second factor of self-critical, cognitive symptoms. The two-factor model showed convincing cross national configural invariance and acceptable measurement invariance. The present findings revealed that adolescents in Mumbai, India, reported substantially higher depressive symptoms in both factors, but particularly for the self-critical dimension, as compared to their peers in Australia and the USA and that males in Mumbai report high levels of depressive symptoms than females in Mumbai.

Limitations
the cross sectional study collected data for adolescents in Melbourne and Seattle in 2002 and the data for adolescents in Mumbai was obtained in 2010–2011

Conclusions
These findings suggest that previous findings in developed nations of higher depressive symptoms amongst females compared to males may have an important cultural component and cannot be generalised as a universal feature of adolescent development.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
UNSD Goals: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/35562
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