The ten-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is one of the most widely used self-report measures of postpartum depression. Although originally described as a one-dimensional measure, the recognition that depressive symptoms may be differentially experienced across cultural and racial/ethnic groups has led to studies examining structural equivalence of the EPDS in different populations. Variation of the factor structure remains understudied across racial/ethnic groups of US women. We examined the factor structure of the EPDS assessed 6 months postpartum in 515 women (29% black, 53% Hispanic, 18% white) enrolled in an urban Boston longitudinal birth cohort. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) identified that a three-factor model, including depression, anxiety, and anhedonia subscales, was the most optimal fit in our sample as a whole and across race/ethnicity. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine the fit of both the two- and three-factor models reported in prior research. CFA confirmed the best fit for a three-factor model, with minimal differences across race/ethnicity. “Things get on top of me” loaded on the anxiety factor among Hispanics, but loaded on the depression factor in whites and African Americans. These findings suggest that EPDS factor structure may need to be adjusted for diverse samples and warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-810
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Anhedonia
  • Anxiety
  • Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
  • Factor analysis
  • Postpartum depression
  • Race/ethnicity


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