Gender Biases Within the Beck Depression Inventory-Ii Among Clinicians-In-Training

Date of Graduation

Fall 2004


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Steve Capps


The Beck Depression Inventory-Second edition (BDI-II) is an instrument commonly used by clinicians to help assess possible depression in presenting clients. However, as the prevalence rates have attested, rates of depression are higher in females than in males. The purpose of this study is to look for gender bias within the BDI-II to possibly identify a bias in how depression is evaluated and diagnosed. Clinical judgment literature is reviewed, as well as the research regarding prevalence rates for depression. For the current study, clinicians-in-training were sampled regarding their perceptions of bias in the BDI-II. Each participant used a six-point Likert-type scale to rate items on the BDI-II in terms of how they perceived each item to be in relation to typical males and females. They also completed the Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire (EPAQ) and Modern Sexism (MS) scale to help gather information on how the items in those measures relate to the BDI-II. Factor analyses were conducted of the responses to the BDI-II questionnaire. Results indicated a two-factor solution where items were classified as more typical of males and more typical of females. Factor 1, the Depression Factor, was considered more typical of females, whereas Factor 2, the Absence of Depression Factor, was considered more typical of males. Symptoms of depression were considered more typical of females than males. Other analyses indicated no relationship between the responses on the EPAQ and MS scales, as well as between the MS scale and the derived depression factors. Significant relationships found between some scales on the EPAQ and also with the derived depression factors existed. Overall, though, there was no significant predictor for differences in the responses to the BDI-II Factor items.


depression, gender biases, clinical judgment, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire, modern sexism scale

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© Jennifer M. Wagner