Assessing mental health for China’s police: psychometric features of the self-rating depression scale and symptom checklist 90-revised

I. Hua Chen, Chung Ying Lin, Xia Zheng, Mark D. Griffiths

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Police mental health is important because police officers usually encounter stressors that cause high levels of stress. In order to better understand mental health for Chinese police, the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R) are commonly used in mainland China. Unfortunately, both the SDS and SCL-90-R lack detailed information on their psychometric properties. More specifically, factor structures of the SDS and SCL-90-R have yet to be confirmed among the police population in mainland China. Therefore, the present study compared several factor structures of the SDS and SCL-90-R proposed by prior research and to determine an appropriate structure for the police population. Utilizing cluster sampling, 1151 traffic police officers (1047 males; mean age = 36.6 years [SD = 6.10]) from 49 traffic police units in Jiangxi Province (China) participated in this study. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with Akaike information criterion (AIC) was used to decide the best fit structure. In the SDS, the three-factor model (first posited by Kitamura et al.) had the smallest AIC and outperformed other models. In the SCL-90-R, the eight-factor model had the smallest AIC and outperformed the one-factor and nine-factor models. CFA fit indices also showed that both the three-factor model in the SDS and the eight-factor model in the SCL-90-R had satisfactory fit. The present study’s results support the use of both SDS and SCL-90-R for police officers in mainland China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2737
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020


  • Police
  • Police mental health
  • Psychometrics
  • Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R)
  • Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (Zung SDS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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