Psychometric Properties of the Dutch Depression Stigma Scale (DSS) and Associations with Personal and Perceived Stigma in a Depressed and Community Sample

A. M. Boerema, K. van Zoonen, P. Cuijpers, C. J. M. Holtmaat, L. B. Mokkink, K. M. Griffiths, A. M. Kleiboer

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BACKGROUND: Research on depression stigma is needed to gain more insight into the underlying construct and to reduce the level of stigma in the community. However, few validated measurements of depression stigma are available in the Netherlands. Therefore, this study first sought to examine the psychometric properties of the Dutch translation of the Depression Stigma Scale (DSS). Second, we examined which demographic (gender, age, education, partner status) and other variables (anxiety and knowledge of depression) are associated with personal and perceived stigma within these samples.

METHODS: The study population consisted of an adult convenience sample (n = 253) (study 1) and a community adult sample with elevated depressive symptoms (n = 264) (study 2). Factor structure, internal consistency, and validity were assessed. The associations between stigma, demographic variables and anxiety level were examined with regression analyses.

RESULTS: Confirmatory factor analysis supported the validity and internal consistency of the DSS personal stigma scale. Internal consistency was sufficient (Cronbach's alpha = .70 (study 1) and .77 (study 2)). The results regarding the perceived stigma scale revealed no clear factor structure. Regression analyses showed that personal stigma was higher in younger people, those with no experience with depression, and those with lower education.

CONCLUSIONS: This study established the validity and internal consistency of the DSS personal scale in the Netherlands, in a community sample and in people with elevated depressive symptoms. However, additional research is needed to examine the factor structure of the DSS perceived scale and its use in other samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0160740
Pages (from-to)e0160740
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2016


  • Journal Article

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