Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Research Psychology (MS)




Dr. Amy Mezulis

Second Reader

Dr. Bethany Hoff


CES-D, depressive symptoms, subscales, factors, sex difference


The sex difference in depression is a well-established and replicated clinical finding, with previous literature indicating that females report more depression than males. However, recent theory and research suggests the sex gap in depressive symptoms may have declined or been eliminated in recent years. The current study examined depressive symptoms among a current (2017-2021) cohort of 1377 undergraduates (18-29 years; M=19.80, 79% female) using the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). I hypothesized that the current sex difference in depressive symptoms would be small or nonsignificant. Results indicated that although males reported more anhedonia (t = 2.65, d = 0.20, p = 0.008) and suicidal ideation (t = 2.63, d = 0.20, p = 0.008), there were no significant sex difference in total depression scores, nor did females report more symptoms on any other subscales. These results are clinically significant as they suggest the previously well-established sex gap in depressive symptoms may be less evident among a current cohort of young adults.

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