ARCH Lab Validates Two Scales in Samples of Canadian Youth

The ARCH Lab contributed to two articles examining the psychometric properties of two scales, the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHO-DAS 2.0) and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) in Canadian youth.

The first article, “Measurement Invariance of the WHODAS 2.0 Across Youth With and Without Physical or Mental Conditions” examined measurement invariance of the WHO-DAS 2.0, a widely used measurement of disability in a sample of 1851 youth in the Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health. Results came from a sample of youth with and without physical or mental conditions and supported the validity of the 12-item WHO-DAS 2.0 in a youth population aged 15-19 years. Further, these results provide evidence that differences in the level of disability among youth with and without physical or mental health conditions are true differences that are not based on differences in how the items are interpreted. Overall, these results extend the validity and reliability of the WHODAS 2.0 and confirm that valid comparisons can be made regarding overall level of disability using this measure.

Secondly, the ARCH Lab’s Dr. Mark Ferro, published a paper titled “The Psychometric Properties of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) in an Epidemiological Sample of Canadian Youth“. This paper investigated the psychometric properties of the K6 across 2010 youth aged 15-19 years and 2010 adults aged 20-64. The K6 was found to be a strong predictor of major depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. Overall, it was concluded that the K6 is a valid and reliable measure of psychological distress among youth, confirming its utility in clinical and community settings to identify youth requiring comprehensive psychiatric assessment.