Comparable or not? Assessing measurement invariance of a modified Center for Epidemiologic Studies—Depression Scale between sexual minority and nonsexual minority men in five Asia-Pacific countries.

Depressive disorders are a growing public health concern in the Asia-Pacific region. Sexual minority men bear a disproportionate burden of depression compared with their nonsexual minority counterparts. Sexual minority men’s exposure to interpersonal and institutional homophobic violence and discrimination may contribute to differences in depressive symptomology between the two groups. Comparing the burden of mental illness among sexual and nonsexual minority men requires that mental health measures are statistically comparable across representative samples of these groups. In the Asia-Pacific region, the comparability of depression measures is largely assumed, rather than tested. We conducted measurement invariance tests on a modified 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies—Depression (CES-D) scale using site-representative samples of sexual minority and nonsexual minority men aged 18—49 from sites in five Asia-Pacific countries. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses in random split-half samples showed that a single-factor latent construct of depression has good model fit. In multigroup confirmatory factor analysis, the modified 10-item CES-D scale showed full (scalar) measurement invariance by sexuality. Thus, this unidimensional modified CES-D scale is suitable to measure and to compare depressive symptoms across sexual and nonsexual minority men in the Asia-Pacific region. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)