Concurrent Validity and Reliability of Two Short Forms of the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire in a Student Sample from Northwest Mexico

  • Nadia S. Corral-FríasEmail author
  • Sheila N. Velardez Soto
  • Martha Frías-Armenta
  • Alejandro Corona-Espinosa
  • David Watson


It is estimated that aproximately 4% of the world’s population is either living with depression, anxiety, or both. The prevalence of these disorders has been consistently increasing. This widespread and increasing prevalence highlights the importance of having well-validated scales to assess symptoms in different languages. The Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ; Clark and Watson Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(3), 316–336, 1991) is a commonly used self-report questionnaire that assesses both depression and anxiety symptoms. To investigate the psychometric properties of a Spanish translation of two short forms of the MASQ (the MASQ-SF and Mini-MASQ), each item was translated and back translated by bilingual researchers and checked by two additional senior investigators. The sample included 238 graduate and undergraduate students from Northwestern Mexico. Participants also completed questionnaires assessing self-reported perceived stress, well-being, resilience, and personality traits. We examined internal consistency reliability, factor structure, and convergent, discriminant and concurrent validity of both MASQ short forms. The Mini-MASQ and MASQ-SF showed good internal consistency; moreover, consistent with previous studies, a three-factor structure emerged. We additionally found that MASQ measures were negatively associated with well-being and resilience, and positively related to stress and neuroticism. The study findings suggest that these Spanish versions of the the Mini-MASQ and MASQ-SF are valid and reliable instruments to assess dimensional aspects of depression and anxiety and can be implemented in studies in Northwest Mexico.


Anxiety Depression Validation Translation Mood disorders Spanish 



We extend thanks to the all the students who participated in the study. NSCF received funding from Programa para el Desarrollo Profesional Docente (PRODEP;No. e-094/2017). SNVS was supported by Consejo Nacional de Tecnología (CONACyT). MFA received funding from CONACyT.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Nadia S. Corral-Frías, Sheila N. Velardez Soto, Martha Frías-Armenta, Alejandro Corona-Espinosa and David Watson declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

All individual participants included in the study provided informed consent.

Experiment Participants

The University of Sonora Ethics Committee approved this study. All the study procedures, including informed consent forms, followed the protocol previously approved by the ethics committee.

Supplementary material

10862_2019_9738_MOESM1_ESM.docx (36 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 36.4 kb)


  1. Anisman, H., & Matheson, K. (2005). Stress, depression, and anhedonia: Caveats concerning animal models. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 29(4–5), 525–546. Scholar
  2. Austin, A. A., & Chorpita, B. F. (2004). Temperament, anxiety, and depression: Comparisons across five ethnic groups of children. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 33(2), 216–226. Scholar
  3. Beck, A. T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R. A. (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: Psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56(6), 893–897. Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996). Beck depression inventory-II. San Antonio, 78(2), 490–498.Google Scholar
  5. Bedford, A. (1997). On Clark-Watson’s tripartite model of anxiety and depression. Psychological Reports, 80(1), 125–126. Scholar
  6. Benet-Martínez, V., & John, O. P. (1998). Los Cinco Grandes across cultures and ethnic groups: Multitrait multimethod analyses of the big five in Spanish and English. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(3), 729–750.Google Scholar
  7. Bentler, P. M. (2007). On tests and indices for evaluating structural models. Personality and Individual Differences, 42(5), 825–829. Scholar
  8. Berridge, K. C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2011). Building a neuroscience of pleasure and well-being. Psychology of Well-Being, 1(1), 1–3. Scholar
  9. Bienvenu, O. J., Samuels, J. F., Costa, P. T., Reti, I. M., Eaton, W. W., & Nestadt, G. (2004). Anxiety and depressive disorders and the five-factor model of personality: A higher- and lower-order personality trait investigation in a community sample. Depression and Anxiety, 20(2), 92–97. Scholar
  10. Blanco, C., Okuda, M., Wright, C., Hasin, D. S., Grant, B. F., Liu, S.-M., & Olfson, M. (2008). Mental health of college students and their non-college-attending peers: Results from the National Epidemiologic Study on alcohol and related conditions. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(12), 1429–1437. Scholar
  11. Bonicatto, S., Dew, A. M., & Soria, J. J. (1998). Analysis of the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Beck depression inventory in Argentina. Psychiatry Research, 79(3), 277–285. Scholar
  12. Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1992). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. Sociological Methods & Research, 21(2), 230–258. Scholar
  13. Buckby, J. A., Yung, A. R., Cosgrave, E. M., & Killackey, E. J. (2007). Clinical utility of the mood and anxiety symptom questionnaire (MASQ) in a sample of young help-seekers. BMC Psychiatry, 7(1), 50.Google Scholar
  14. Casillas, A., & Clark, L. A. (2000). The Mini Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (Mini- MASQ). Presented at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  15. Civelek, M. E. (2018). Essentials of structural equation modeling. Zea E-Books. 64.
  16. Clark, L. A., & Watson, D. (1991). Tripartite model of anxiety and depression: Psychometric evidence and taxonomic implications. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(3), 316–336.Google Scholar
  17. Clark, L. A., Watson, D., & Mineka, S. (1994). Temperament, personality, and the mood and anxiety disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103(1), 103–116. Scholar
  18. Cook, J. M., Orvaschel, H., Simco, E., Hersen, M., & Joiner, T. (2004). A test of the tripartite model of depression and anxiety in older adult psychiatric outpatients. Psychology and Aging, 19(3), 444–451. Scholar
  19. de Beurs, E., den Hollander-Gijsman, M. E., Helmich, S., & Zitman, F. G. (2007). The tripartite model for assessing symptoms of anxiety and depression: Psychometrics of the Dutch version of the mood and anxiety symptoms questionnaire. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45(7), 1609–1617. Scholar
  20. Díaz, D., Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., Blanco, A., Moreno-Jiménez, B., Gallardo, I., Valle, C., & van Dierendonck, D. (2006). Spanish adaptation of the psychological well-being scales (PWBS). Psicothema, 18(3), 572–577.Google Scholar
  21. Evans, T. M., Bira, L., Gastelum, J. B., Weiss, L. T., & Vanderford, N. L. (2018). Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education. Nature Biotechnology, 36(3), 282–284. Scholar
  22. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Boden, J. M. (2006). Structure of internalising symptoms in early adulthood. The British Journal of Psychiatry: the Journal of Mental Science, 189, 540–546. Scholar
  23. First, M., Spitzer, R., Gibbon, M., & Williams, J. (1996). Structured clinical interview for DSM-IV axis I disorders, research version, non-patient edition. New York State Psychiatric Institute, Biometrics Research Department.Google Scholar
  24. Friborg, O., Hjemdal, O., Martinussen, M., & Rosenvinge, J. H. (2009). Empirical support for resilience as more than the counterpart and absence of vulnerability and symptoms of mental disorder. Journal of Individual Differences, 30(3), 138–151. Scholar
  25. Goldstein, B., Kotov, R., Perlman, G., Watson, D., & Klein, D. (2018). Trait and facet-level predictors of first-onset depressive and anxiety disorders in a community sample of adolescent girls. Psychological Medicine, 48(08), 1282–1290. Scholar
  26. Hair, J. F. (Ed.). (1995). Multivariate data analysis with readings (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  27. Hau, K.-T., & Marsh, H. W. (2004). The use of item parcels in structural equation modelling: Non-normal data and small sample sizes. The British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 57(Pt 2, 327–351.Google Scholar
  28. Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., & Sinkovics, R. R. (Eds.). (2009). Advances in international marketing (Vol. 20). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing. Scholar
  29. Kendall, A. D., Zinbarg, R. E., Bobova, L., Mineka, S., Revelle, W., Prenoveau, J. M., & Craske, M. G. (2016). Measuring positive emotion with the mood and anxiety symptom questionnaire: Psychometric properties of the Anhedonic depression scale. Assessment, 23(1), 86–95. Scholar
  30. Keogh, E., & Reidy, J. (2000). Exploring the factor structure of the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ). Journal of Personality Assessment, 74(1), 106–125. Scholar
  31. Kessler, R. C., Gruber, M., Hettema, J. M., Hwang, I., Sampson, N., & Yonkers, K. A. (2008). Co-morbid major depression and generalized anxiety disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey follow-up. Psychological Medicine, 38(3), 365–374. Scholar
  32. Keyes, C. L. M. (2005). Mental illness and/or mental health? Investigating axioms of the complete state model of health. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(3), 539–548. Scholar
  33. Khoo, S., & Simms, L. J. (2018). Links between depression and openness and its facets. Personality and Mental Health, 12(3), 203–215. Scholar
  34. Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kotov, R., Gamez, W., Schmidt, F., & Watson, D. (2010). Linking “big” personality traits to anxiety, depressive, and substance use disorders: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136(5), 768–821. Scholar
  36. Lambert, S. F., McCreary, B. T., Joiner, T. E., Schmidt, N. B., & Ialongo, N. S. (2004). Structure of anxiety and depression in urban youth: An examination of the tripartite model. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72(5), 904–908. Scholar
  37. Lee, S.-A., Kim, K.-H., & Cho, S.-M. (2015). Validation of the mood and anxiety symptom questionnaire in Korean adolescents. Psychiatry Investigation, 12(2), 218–226. Scholar
  38. Levecque, K., Anseel, F., De Beuckelaer, A., Van der Heyden, J., & Gisle, L. (2017). Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students. Research Policy, 46(4), 868–879. Scholar
  39. Lin, A., Yung, A. R., Wigman, J. T. W., Killackey, E., Baksheev, G., & Wardenaar, K. J. (2014). Validation of a short adaptation of the Mood and Anxiety Symptoms Questionnaire (MASQ) in adolescents and young adults. Psychiatry Research, 215(3), 778–783. Scholar
  40. Magán, I., Sanz, J., & García-Vera, M. P. (2008). Psychometric properties of a Spanish version of the Beck anxiety inventory (BAI) in general population. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 11(2), 626–640.Google Scholar
  41. Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Harrington, H., Milne, B. J., Melchior, M., Goldberg, D., & Poulton, R. (2007). Generalized anxiety disorder and depression: Childhood risk factors in a birth cohort followed to age 32. Psychological Medicine, 37(03), 441. Scholar
  42. Oshio, A., Taku, K., Hirano, M., & Saeed, G. (2018). Resilience and big five personality traits: A meta-analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 127, 54–60. Scholar
  43. Osman, A., Freedenthal, S., Gutierrez, P. M., Wong, J. L., Emmerich, A., & Lozano, G. (2011). The anxiety depression distress Inventory-27 (ADDI-27): A short version of the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire-90. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(6), 591–608. Scholar
  44. Pedrelli, P., Nyer, M., Yeung, A., Zulauf, C., & Wilens, T. (2015). College students: Mental health problems and treatment considerations. Academic Psychiatry, 39(5), 503–511. Scholar
  45. Remor, E. (2006). Psychometric properties of a European Spanish version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 9(1), 86–93.Google Scholar
  46. Rodríguez, J. J., Kohn, R., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., & Organización Panamericana de la Salud. (2009). Epidemiología de los trastornos mentales en América Latina y el Caribe. Washington, D.C.: OPS.Google Scholar
  47. Ryff, C. D., & Keyes, C. L. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(4), 719–727.Google Scholar
  48. Schumacker, R. E., & Lomax, R. G. (2004). A beginner’s guide to structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  49. Vollebergh, W. A., Iedema, J., Bijl, R. V., de Graaf, R., Smit, F., & Ormel, J. (2001). The structure and stability of common mental disorders: The NEMESIS study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58(6), 597–603.Google Scholar
  50. Vos, T., Allen, C., Arora, M., Barber, R. M., Bhutta, Z. A., Brown, A., ...& Coggeshall, M.,(2016). Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990–2015: A systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2015. The Lancet, 388(10053), 1545–1602.
  51. Wagnild, G. M., & Young, H. M. (1993). Development and psychometric evaluation of the resilience scale. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 1(2), 165–178.Google Scholar
  52. Wardenaar, K. J., van Veen, T., Giltay, E. J., de Beurs, E., Penninx, B. W. J. H., & Zitman, F. G. (2010). Development and validation of a 30-item short adaptation of the Mood and Anxiety Symptoms Questionnaire (MASQ). Psychiatry Research, 179(1), 101–106. Scholar
  53. Watson, D., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2014). Personality, emotions, and the emotional disorders. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(4), 422–442.Google Scholar
  54. Watson, D., Weber, K., Assenheimer, J. S., Clark, L. A., Strauss, M. E., & McCormick, R. A. (1995). Testing a tripartite model: I. evaluating the convergent and discriminant validity of anxiety and depression symptom scales. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104(1), 3–14.Google Scholar
  55. Watson, D., Stasik, S. M., Ellickson-Larew, S., & Stanton, K. (2015). Extraversion and psychopathology: A facet level analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(2), 432–446.Google Scholar
  56. World Health Organization. (2016). Global Health Estimates 2016: Disease burden by Cause, Age, Sex, by Country and by Region, 2000-2016. Geneva.Google Scholar
  57. World Health Organization. (2017). Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversidad de SonoraHermosilloMexico
  2. 2.Law DepartmentUniversidad de SonoraHermosilloMexico
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

Personalised recommendations