Cross-cultural comparability of the Geriatric Depression Scale: comparison between older Koreans and older Americans.
ABSTRACT It is becoming increasingly clear that, in order to better understand the implications of global aging, more cross-cultural research is needed. In the present study, the structure and validity of the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form (GDS-SF) was examined in Korean and US samples of older adults. The participants included 153 older adults living in Korea (mean age=65.9 years) and 459 older adults from Florida (mean age=72.4 years). All participants completed the original or translated versions of the GDS-SF, as well as additional demographic and health-related measures. The results indicated that the GDS-SF exhibited good reliability in both samples. However, the results of a principal components analysis indicated that the structure was not well replicated across the two samples. In general, the present study suggests that, despite great efforts to make the questionnaires equivalent in the two cultures, the concept of depression for older adults may vary greatly in Korea and the USA. Possible explanations for cross-cultural differences are discussed, as well as implications.