Depression Amidst Pandemic-Explanation of the Scale

-Rounak Biswas, Student of Psychology (M.A.)

In the present study, we have studied the degree of depression amongst young adults. We used a scale, after constructing it by following rules.

The results were satisfactory in terms of standardisation. We aimed to acknowledge the pattern during the pandemic and the adversary effect on mood.

Reliability refers to the consistency of a measure. A test is considered reliable if we get the same result repeatedly. For example, if a test is designed to measure a trait (such as depression), then each time the test is administered to a subject, the results should be approximately the same.

The calculated coefficient alpha can be considered as a measurement of reliability in this case. The obtained value is 0.89(N=104), which shows that the scale has a high level of reliability and each of the items has measured the exact attribute which we are willing to.

Inter-item correlations are an essential element in conducting an item analysis of a set of test questions. Inter-item correlations examine the extent to which scores on one item are related to scores on all other items in a scale. It provides an assessment of item redundancy: the extent to which items on a scale are assessing the same content (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2005).

X.1 X.2 X.3   X.4  X.5 X.6  X.7  X.8  X.9 X.10 X.11 X.12 X.13
X.1 1.000.50 0.44 0.50 0.37 0.32 0.31 0.35 0.52 0.38 0.21 0.27 0.36
X.2 0.50 1.00 0.62 0.52 0.24 0.45 0.47 0.31 0.60 0.36 0.11 0.38 0.59
X.3 0.440.62 1.00 0.59 0.46 0.52 0.45 0.45 0.53 0.57 0.26 0.40 0.42
X.4 0.50 0.52 0.59 1.00 0.61 0.52 0.45 0.54 0.56 0.40 0.21 0.59 0.48
X.5 0.370.24 0.46 0.61 1.00 0.44 0.23 0.39 0.40 0.52 0.40 0.28 0.19
X.6 0.320.45 0.52 0.52 0.44 1.00 0.49 0.47 0.46 0.40 0.28 0.38 0.36
X.7 0.310.47 0.45 0.45 0.23 0.49 1.00 0.34 0.37 0.26 0.20 0.52 0.32
X.8 0.350.31 0.45 0.54 0.39 0.47 0.34 1.00 0.39 0.35 0.26 0.44 0.14
X.9 0.520.60 0.53 0.56 0.40 0.46 0.37 0.39 1.00 0.45 0.27 0.39 0.50
X.10 0.380.36 0.57 0.40 0.52 0.40 0.26 0.35 0.45 1.00 0.44 0.35 0.30
X.11 0.210.11 0.26 0.21 0.40 0.28 0.20 0.26 0.27 0.44 1.00 0.39 0.18
X.12 0.270.38 0.40 0.59 0.28 0.38  0.52  0.44 0.39 0.35 0.39 1.00 0.39
X.13 0.360.59 0.42 0.48 0.19 0.36 0.32 0.14 0.50 0.30 0.18 0.39 1.00

The above table explains the inter-item correlation among the statements.

Serial no.MeanStandard Deviation
13.701.13
24.171.14
33.671.29
43.361.43
53.351.54
63.961.25
73.101.58
82.101.45  
93.861.37
103.571.41
113.021.49
122.911.39
134.301.07

If we analyse the statements, which we have used for the survey, it’s pretty obvious that for 2nd & 13th items, the mean score was high and the apparent reasons for the detected depression can also cater to the same area.  

The availability of umpteen time is making people postpone their work and rescheduling it later resulting in the loss of their focus and concentration. This uncertainty of the time span and deadline is creating ruckus, which ultimately results in mood disturbance. (2nd statement)

 The present situation has been very hard with the downfall of the economy and the education system getting affected. It is making people very anxious about their future and the career and all together it is a very stressful situation. Everything related to education and job is at risk. Since, there is insufficient knowledge, regarding the nature and the direction of the pandemic, there is a tendency of apprehension & melancholy for the very same reason, resulting in a high degree of depression. (13th statement)

If we consider the total score of the scale, which results with mean= 45.08, we can notice a tendency of having slightly higher degrees of depression in the sample (N=104). There is a possibility for them in losing the usual routines and the unstructured time can also lead to ramification and passivity, thus it can create high risk of depression gradually.

As we can also notice that the growing boredom , uncertainty have prevailed in the individuals, they were feeling mundane and lack of organizing structure most of the time.

The respondents have shown a lack of pleasure and excitement that may reduce their quest for doing more productive works. The lack of systemic control over the situation makes them feel jittery and helpless simultaneously.

It has also been found that the pandemic has paved the way for people to be more vulnerable in terms of boredom susceptibility.

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