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Date of Award

7-25-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Paula Truax

Second Advisor

Jay C. Thomas

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen

Abstract

While valid self-report depression measures exist, a limited body of research suggests that their repeated administration without intervention leads to a reduction in depression scores. It is currently unknown whether this decrease occurs with longer intervals between administrations and whether this decrease is the result of an actual change in depressive symptomatology or simply an artifact of repeated testing. Because repeated testing compounds the passage of time with the number of times a test is given, it is also unknown which of these variables account for this phenomenon. In the current study, non-clinical participants were randomly assigned to complete the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) at weekly, monthly, or bimonthly intervals. Results showed that BDI-II scores significantly decreased only in the weekly administration condition, and that lower scores at retest were accounted for by the frequency of administration and not the passage of time. Participants also completed two alternative measures of depression to investigate the construct validity of the BDI-II following rep ell-ted testing. Scores on these instruments suggest that the BDI-II loses construct validity with weekly administration and that lower scores at retest are the result of error introduced by weekly administration. Limitations as well as research and clinical implications are discussed.

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