Confirmatory Factor Analysis of Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression 10-item Scale on Chinese International Students in Korea

Yang Eun Kim1, *
, Boram Lee1, #

1 Woosong University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

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© 2021 Kim and Lee.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the the Department of Early Childhood Education, Woosong University Postal address: 171 Dongdaejeon-ro, Dong-gu, Deajeon, Republic of Korea; Tel: +82-42-630-9372;
#The author Contributed equally to this work



Depression has become increasingly prevalent in Chinese international students in South Korea. For this population, therefore, accurate assessment of mood disorders, particularly depression, is critically important. The 10-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D 10) is commonly used to measure depression in both clinical and non-clinical populations. Thus, this study examined the CES-D 10’s factor structure and psychometric properties in Chinese international students.


Study participants were 250 Chinese international students aged 18–23, attending a four-year university in Korea; they completed the Chinese version of the CES-D 10. Based on relevant theories and empirical research, confirmatory factor analysis was employed to examine the adequacy of three competing models’ factor structure. Internal consistency reliability was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha, and test-retest reliability using the Pearson correlation coefficient.


Confirmatory factor analysis suggested that the two-factor model comprised of depressive affect/somatic retardation and positive affect had the best fit. The CES-D 10 showed satisfactory internal consistency and test-retest reliability in Chinese international students.


The CES-D 10 demonstrated strong psychometric properties in this Chinese international student sample, and results suggest that the CES-D scale is a useful screening tool for depressive symptoms. Therefore, the CES-D 10 could be used as a depression screen for international students at the population level and in health clinics.

Keywords: CES-D, Chinese international students, Confirmatory factor analysis, Depression, Factor structure, Health clinics.