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Using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21 (DASS-21) across cultures

Taylor & Francis
Publication Date
  • 170000 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
  • 170107 Industrial And Organisational Psychology
  • 170299 Cognitive Science Not Elsewhere Classified
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Asian
  • Psychometrics


DASS-21 has been validated in a number of populations such as Hispanic adults, American, British and Australian. The findings show that the DASS-21 is psychometrically sound with good reliability and validity. It is clear from the literature that the DASS-21 is a well established instrument for measuring depression, anxiety and stress in the Western world. Nonetheless, the lack of appropriate validation amongst Asian populations continues to pose concerns over the use of DASS-21 in Asian samples. Cultural variation may influence the individual’s experience and emotional expression. Thus, when researchers and practitioners employ Western-based assessments with Asian populations by directly translating them without an appropriate validation, the process can be challenging. In summary, we have conducted a series of rigorous statistical tests and minimised any potential confounds from the demographic information. The advantages of this revised DASS-18 stress scale are twofold. First, the revised DASS-18 stress scale possessed fewer items, which resulted in a cleaner factorial structure. Second, it also had a smaller inter-factor correlation. With these justifications, the revised DASS-18 stress scale is potentially more suitable for the Asian populations.

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