Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Elizabeth L. Jones (Director), Dr. Reagan Brown, Dr. Frederick G. Grieve

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


Anxiety and depression are two disorders frequently diagnosed in adults. Given serious adverse affects such as physical health problems, interpersonal relationship difficulties, and suicide, differentiation in treatment of these often comorbid disorders is a necessity in providing appropriate care. The tripartite model of anxiety and depression (Clark & Watson, 1991) proposes that these disorders are linked by a common trait (Negative Affect) and differentiated by a trait common to depression (lack of Positive Affect) and a trait common to anxiety (Physiological Hyperarousal). The Clinical Assessment of Depression (CAD; Bracken & Howell, 2004), a recently published selfreport narrow-band measure of depression, includes a measure of anxiety related symptoms in its subscale structure. This study explores the validity of the CAD with two established measures: the Beck Depression Inventory – II (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (Beck, & Steer, 1993). College students of 18 to 52 years of age (n = 295) enrolled in undergraduate courses in psychology at a south central Kentucky university provided the study data. These individuals were divided into nonclinical and clinical samples based on self disclosure of a clinical diagnosis to examine differences between groups. Strong positive correlations (above r = .60) between similar CAD scales and total scores on the BAI and BDI-II supported convergent validity for the nonclinical sample. All comparisons supported convergent validity for the clinical sample except the correlation between the BDI-II Total Score and the CAD - Depressed Mood subscale (r = .56). Weak to moderate correlations (r = 0.0 to .59) between dissimilar scales supported divergent validity for all dissimilar comparisons in both samples except the correlation between the BDI-II and the CAD-Anxiety/Worry subscale in the nonclinical sample (r = .66). Hotelling-Williams t-tests were performed to compare correlations of similar and dissimilar constructs. Significant results emerged most comparisons in the nonclinical group support the use of the CAD diagnostic assessment. However, nonsignificant findings for the CAD Anxiety/Worry subscale indicate that this measure lacks the ability to aid diagnose significant levels of anxiety. Only one significant difference between correlations was found for the clinical sample with the CAD – Diminished Interest subscale evidencing significantly stronger correlations with the BDI-II than the BAI. The lack of significant differences for the other CAD scales is discussed relative to the small clinical sample size and the heterogeneity of disorders represented. Results support the use of the CAD as an adequate diagnostic tool for depression with college students. Results did not support the use of the CAD in differential diagnosis of anxiety with college students within the framework of the tripartite model. Implications of the findings are discussed to aid in practice and to suggest further research.


Clinical Psychology