Examining the Factor Structure of Anxiety and Depression Symptom Items Among Adolescents in Santiago, Chile

Cristina B Bares, Fernando Andrade, Jorge Delva, Andrew Grogan-Kaylor


The co-occurrence of emotional disorders among adolescents has received considerable empirical attention. This study aims to contribute to the understanding of co-occurring anxiety and depression by examining the factor structure of the Youth Self-Report used with a sample of low-income adolescents from Santiago, Chile. Data from two independent, randomly selected subsamples were analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Results indicate the best fit for the data is a two-factor model of anxiety and depression symptoms, which factors anxiety and depression into separate latent constructs. Because the findings show that anxiety and depression are not measured by the same factor in this international sample, the results imply that a valid and useful distinction exists between these constructs. That these constructs are found to be separate factors suggests that anxiety and depression may have separate etiologies and consequences, which might be best addressed by separate intervention components. These findings are consistent with the viewpoint that anxiety and depression constructs have similar emotional features and, despite sharing a common underlying internalizing disorder, distinct items capture aspects of each construct.



Full Text: PDF