Valerie Sims


The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) is a 53-item, self-report measure of psychological symptoms that was developed as a screening tool for use in a variety of clinical settings. The purpose of the present archival study was to examine the usefulness of the BSI depressive symptoms subscale in a sample of homeless men. Given that homelessness represents a grave problem in the U.S., and that homeless persons are at greater risk for a broad range of mental health problems, the study was conceived to provide additional information about the usefulness of the BSI as a screener of depressive symptoms among the homeless. The sample consisted of 100 homeless men, most of whom were participating in a 12-month, residential substance abuse rehabilitation program offered at a religiously affiliated, inner-city mission. Moreover, all the participants were seeking psychological services at the time they were evaluated. In addition to the BSI, scores from the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd Edition (BDI-II) and selected demographic variables were collected. It was predicted that the BSI depressive symptoms subscale score and the Global Severity Index (GSI) would be positively correlated with the BDI-II. Correlational analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship, in the predicted direction, between the BSI depressive symptoms subscale and the BDI-II (r = .74). A strong, positive relationship between the GSI and BDI-II was also obtained (r = .75). These findings supported the convergent validity of the BSI depression dimension. Support for the discriminant validity of the BSI depression scale was also obtained. Participants who had a primary complaint or presenting problem of mood symptoms at the time of assessment obtained a significantly higher mean score on the BSI depression scale than participants with other primary complaints. These findings were interpreted as strong support for the usefulness of the BSI in screening for depressive symptoms in an ethnically diverse sample of homeless men. Other findings, clinical implications, study limitations, and suggestions for future research are also explored.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Homeless men -- Mental health; Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Mitchell, Cary