Test-retest & familial concordance of MDD symptoms

Ariela J.E. Kaiser, Carter J. Funkhouser, Vijay A. Mittal, Sebastian Walther, Stewart A. Shankman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Psychopathology research has increasingly sought to study the etiology and treatment of individual symptoms, rather than categorical diagnoses. However, it is unclear whether commonly used measures have adequate psychometric properties for assessing individual symptoms. This study examined the test-retest reliability and familial concordance (an indicator of validity) of the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), a disorder consisting of nine core symptoms, most of which are aggregated (e.g., symptom 7 of the DSM criteria for MDD is worthlessness or guilt). Lifetime MDD symptoms were measured in 504 young adults (237 sibling pairs) using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 (SCID). Fifty-one people completed a second SCID within three weeks of their first SCID. Results indicated that aggregated and unaggregated symptoms demonstrated moderate to substantial test-retest reliability and generally significant, but slight to fair familial concordance (with the highest familial concordance being for markedly diminished interest or pleasure and its unaggregated components – decreased interest and decreased pleasure). Given the increasing focus on the differential validity of individual MDD symptoms, the present study suggests that interview-based assessments of depression can assess most individual symptoms with adequate levels of reliability and validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113313
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Depression
  • Heterogeneity
  • Psychometrics
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Test-retest & familial concordance of MDD symptoms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this