Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

  • Jane UptonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_441-2



The Beck Depression Inventory is a 21-item multiple choice self-report inventory widely used measure of the presence and degree of depression in adolescents and adults.

The most recent version is the Beck Depression Inventory®-II (BDI®-II), constructed by Aaron T. Beck and colleagues (Beck et al. 1996a). The BDI®-II can be self-administered or verbally by a trained administrator, is validated for completion by 13- to 80-year-old individuals, and is available from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/en-us/Productdetail.htm?Pid=015-8018-370&Mode=summary. It has high test-retest reliability (Pearson r = 0.93) (Beck et al. 1996b). It also has high internal consistency (Alpha 0.91) (Beck et al. 1996a).

The BDI includes both cognitive and somatic symptoms of depression, unlike the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale which was developed for use with somatic illness patients, and therefore excludes somatic symptoms of depression to reduce confounding. The inclusion of somatic symptoms in the BDI enables the user to identify different types of depression in individuals (Canals et al. 2001).


References and Further Reading

  1. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., Ball, R., & Ranieri, W. (1996a). Comparison of Beck depression inventories – IA and II in psychiatric outpatients. Journal of Personality Assessment, 67(3), 588–597.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa6703_13. Accessed 14 Apr 2011.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996b). Manual for the Beck depression inventory-II. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. Canals, J., Blade, J., Carbajo, G., & Domenech-Llaberia, E. (2001). The Beck depression inventory: Psychometric characteristics and usefulness in non clinical adolescents. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 17, 63–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWilliam James CollegeNewtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anna C. Whittaker
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK