Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


A rational for developing the original Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS-100) was the measurement of cognitive vulnerability to depression (Weissman & Beck, 1978; Weissman, 1979). The present study was designed to develop and validate a rapid assessment instrument (RAI) based on the DAS-100 for use with university students. Various statistical procedures, including factor analysis, were used to develop a 20 item scale. The DAS-20 is a unidimensional scale measuring a construct that may be identified as Need for Approval. The reliability of the DAS-20 is satisfactory with an internal consistency Alpha coefficient of r =.88, and a test-retest stability coefficient of r =.83. Construct validity was assessed by obtaining correlations between the DAS-20 and a battery of tests which have been used in previous research with the DAS-100. Significant correlations were obtained with the Ellis Irrational Beliefs Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule, the Revised-UCLA Loneliness Scale, and the Debilitating Anxiety Scale of the Achievement Anxiety Test. In addition, the DAS-20 correlated with a number of subscales of the Jackson Personality Inventory. Persons who endorsed a high level of dysfunctional attitudes may be characterized as lonely, anxious, depressed individuals with little energy. They feel a strong need for the approval of others and try to achieve that approval by complying or pretending to comply with societal rules. They are intolerant of the opinions of others and although nonassertive they may act in a manipulative fashion in social relationships. With reference to the clinical potential of the new scale, the DAS-20 successfully differentiated depressed students from nondepressed students, using BDI cutoff scores to define depression. Also, when administered to members of a support group for Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs), mean score on the DAS-20 for this clinical sample was significantly different from the mean score of the nonclinical sample. The strong Need for Approval component of the DAS-20 was shown to be a common feature of both the Sociotropic personality subtype as described by Beck, and the reported characteristics of the ACOAs. Additional clinical research is necessary to further explore the potential of the DAS-20 as a rapid assessment instrument.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1988 .S967. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 50-03, Section: B, page: 1124. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1988.