Psychometric properties of the Mindsets of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (MDASS) in Chinese young adults and adolescents

Shimin Zhu, Yanqiong Zhuang, Paul Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: Mindset has been found to be closely related to mental health symptoms. Yet no scale for the Mindsets of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress (MDASS) has been validated. This study developed a 12-item MDASS with four items in each domain and examined its psychometric properties among young adults and adolescents. Methods: Young adults (Study 1: N = 1735, aged 18–25) and adolescents (Study 2, N = 1648, aged 9–16) completed socio-demographics information, MDASS (unidirectional items in Study 1 and bi-directional items in Study 2), and mental health symptoms measures. Both samples were randomly divided into two equal sub-samples, one for exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to identify the factor structure, the other for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to assess the goodness-of-fit of EFA models. Spearman correlations were used to assess the convergent validity of MDASS with measures of depression, anxiety, and stress. Results: In Study 1, EFA yielded a three-factor model with underlying factors of fixed mindsets on depression, anxiety, and stress; CFA revealed a good goodness-of-fit (CFI and TFI >0.95; RMSEA and SRMR <0.08). In Study 2 with reversed items, EFA and CFA yielded a complex model structure. Fixed mindsets were positively correlated with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms (all absolute correlations >0.3) in both studies. Conclusion: MDASS is a reliable scale with clear factor structure to measure mindsets of negative emotions among early adults. MDASS is suggested to use only fixed-mindset statements. The MDASS are highly associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2021


  • fixed mindset
  • growth mindset
  • implicit theory
  • mental health
  • validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this