Beck Depression Inventory Worksheet

What is the theory behind this Beck Depression Inventory Worksheet?

The Beck Depression Inventory was created by Aaron T Beck to measure the presence of characteristic depressive symptoms such as guilt, pessimism, low self esteem, insomnia etc. It is a self-report measure which is based on 21 multiple choice items offering four responses of increasing intensity. 

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will provide all the information related to Beck Depression Inventory that can help therapists or counsellors in choosing the assessment to use in their work. It will provide a concise summary of all related information to the Inventory including its uses, statistics and limitations. 

How to use the worksheet?

This information handout provides all relevant information related to Beck Depression Inventory for all therapists or counsellors seeking to use it in their work. They can use the information to decide whether they should buy it to use in their practice or not. 

Beck Depression Inventory Worksheet

General informationA 21-item self-report measure created by Aaron T. Beck in the year 1961 (BD I). Currently BD II is used which was developed in 1996.
UsesIntensity/Severity of depression in clients with a depression diagnosis.Detecting depression or an inclination towards itUsed at various points during the therapeutic process to measure improvements in symptoms
Age range13 to 80 year old
AdministrationCan be completed by interviewing clientClients can use it themselves provided they have a fifth-sixth grade reading level.
Items21 items each corresponding to a characteristic symptom of depression. Each item has four options as reponses.Fall under four categories: Affective, Somatic, Cognitive, Vegetative (sleep and appetite disturbances)
StatisticsTest-retest reliability: 0.73 – 0.92Internal Consistency: 0.9Good Convergent and Discriminant Validity
Scoring0–9: minimal depression10–18: mild depression19–29: moderate depression30–63: severe depression.
LimitationsWhen used as a self report measure, accuracy depends on the client’s own perception of symptoms and also what they choose to be truthful about. Can only be used with clients whose cognitive functioning is not impaired and can read and understand English. Cross cultural validity is under questionAligns with old version of DSM i.e DSM IV 


Beck, A.T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961) An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561-571.

Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. (1996). Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI-II) [Database record]. APA PsycTests.

You can download this worksheet here.

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