Psychometric Properties of the PHQ-A among a Sample of Children and Adolescents in Puerto Rico

  • Stephanie López-TorresEmail author
  • Coralee Pérez-Pedrogo
  • Israel Sánchez-Cardona
  • Marizaida Sánchez-Cesáreo


This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Spanish translation of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 modified for adolescents (PHQ-A) on a sample of children and adolescents. This is especially pertinent considering that depression often goes unnoticed among children and adolescents, and research about screening instruments is limited. The sample consisted of secondary data of 567 students residing in Puerto Rico. We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis to test the factorial structure of the PHQ-A. A multi-group confirmatory factor analysis (MG-CFA) was performed to examine invariance across gender, and correlations between depression, anxiety and trauma scores were evaluated as evidence of convergent validity. Results indicated a better fit when removing the ninth item of the scale which evaluates suicidal ideation, making reference to the PHQ-8. The MG-CFA also suggests that symptoms of depression are similar between youth despite gender. PHQ-8 scores were positively correlated with anxiety and trauma scores, which evidence convergent validity. In conclusion, the PHQ-8 modified for adolescents (PHQ-8-A) could prove to be a useful instrument for the assessment and early treatment of depression symptoms considering groups who are at-risk such as minorities and youth.


Adolescents Children Depression Instrumental study PHQ-A 


Funding Information

This work was supported by the Victim Compensation Grant Program, Department of Justice, grant number VA-GX-0039.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie López-Torres
    • 1
    Email author
  • Coralee Pérez-Pedrogo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Israel Sánchez-Cardona
    • 1
  • Marizaida Sánchez-Cesáreo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Tercera MisiónCarlos Albizu UniversityPuerto Rico
  2. 2.Division of Community ServicesUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico

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