**QUESTION**

A clinical psychologist is administering the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (Hamilton, 1967). The scale ranges from 0 to 52. Scoring is based on the 17-item scale and scores of 0–7 are considered as being normal, 8–16 suggest mild depression, 17–23 moderate depression and scores over 24 are indicative of severe depression (Zimmerman, Martinez, Young, Chelminski, & Dalrymple, 2013). We have some evidence about the mean score for the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression among the population of adolescents: *μ *= 6 with a standard deviation of *σ *=1.5. The clinical psychologist’s patient, a 14-year old girl, scores a 10 on the scale. How would you describe her score relative to the population of adolescents? (Please use your knowledge of z-scores to answer this question.)

Make sure your response is in paragraph form (full sentences, appropriate grammar, punctuation, etc.). Typically 700 words.

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A clinical psychologist is administering the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (Hamilton, 1967). The scale ranges from 0 to 52. Scoring is based on the 17-item scale and scores of 0–7 are considered as being normal, 8–16 suggest mild depression, 17–23 moderate depression and scores over 24 are indicative of severe depression (Zimmerman, Martinez, Young, Chelminski, & Dalrymple, 2013). We have some evidence about the mean score for the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression among the population of adolescents: μ = 6 with a standard deviation of σ =1.5. The clinical psychologist’s patient, a 14-year old girl, scores a 10 on the scale. How would you describe her score relative to the population of adolescents? (Please use your knowledge of z-scores to answer this question.)

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References

Hamilton, M. A. X. (1967). Development of a rating scale for primary depressive illness. *British Journal of Social and clinical psychology, 6*(4), 278-296.

Zimmerman, M., Martinez, J. H., Young, D., Chelminski, I., & Dalrymple, K. (2013). Severity classification on the Hamilton depression rating scale. *Journal of Affective Disorders, 150*(2), 384-388.

**ANSWER**

**Interpreting a 14-Year-Old Girl’s Score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression: A Comparison to the Adolescent Population**

The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) is a widely used tool in clinical psychology to assess the severity of depression symptoms. It consists of a 17-item scale, and scores on this scale can range from 0 to 52. In order to interpret the scores, different cutoff points are established. According to Zimmerman et al. (2013), scores of 0 to 7 are considered within the normal range, 8 to 16 suggest mild depression, 17 to 23 indicate moderate depression, and scores over 24 are indicative of severe depression.

In this case, the clinical psychologist is administering the HRSD to a 14-year-old girl, and she scores a 10 on the scale. To determine how her score compares to the population of adolescents, we can use the concept of z-scores (Wingersky et al., 1984). A z-score measures the number of standard deviations a particular score is from the mean. By calculating the z-score for the girl’s score of 10, we can determine how it deviates from the average score of the population.

To calculate the z-score, we need to know the mean (μ) and the standard deviation (σ) of the population. According to the given information, the mean score for the HRSD among the population of adolescents is μ = 6, with a standard deviation of σ = 1.5. Using this information, we can calculate the z-score as follows:

z = (x – μ) / σ

where x is the girl’s score of 10, μ is the population mean of 6, and σ is the population standard deviation of 1.5.

Plugging in the values:

z = (10 – 6) / 1.5 = 4 / 1.5 = 2.67

The calculated z-score is 2.67. This means that the girl’s score of 10 is 2.67 standard deviations above the mean score of the population.

To interpret this z-score, we can refer to the standard normal distribution, also known as the z-distribution. In a standard normal distribution, which has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1, a z-score of 2.67 is quite high. It indicates that the girl’s score is significantly above the average score of the population (Weisstein et al., 2002).

In the context of the HRSD, a score of 10 falls within the mild depression range. However, when comparing it to the population mean and standard deviation, the girl’s score is relatively high. It suggests that her depressive symptoms are more pronounced compared to the average adolescent in the population.

It is important to note that the interpretation of the score should be done in conjunction with other clinical information and considerations (Muransky et al., 2019). The HRSD is just one tool used by clinicians to assess depression, and a comprehensive evaluation should take into account various factors, such as the presence of other symptoms, the duration of symptoms, and the individual’s overall functioning.

In summary, the 14-year-old girl’s score of 10 on the HRSD indicates mild depression according to the established cutoff points. However, when considering her score relative to the population of adolescents, her z-score of 2.67 suggests that her depressive symptoms are significantly higher than the average adolescent. This information highlights the importance of further assessment and potential intervention to address her mental health needs effectively.

**References**

Muransky, O., Balogh, L., Tran, M., Hamelin, C. J., Park, J. S., & Daymond, M. R. (2019). On the measurement of dislocations and dislocation substructures using EBSD and HRSD techniques. *Acta Materialia*, *175*, 297-313.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359645419303209

Weisstein, E. W. (2002). Normal distribution. *https://mathworld. wolfram. com/*.http://mathworld.wolfram.com/NormalDistribution.html

Wingersky, M. S., & Lord, F. M. (1984). An investigation of methods for reducing sampling error in certain IRT procedures. *Applied Psychological Measurement*, *8*(3), 347-364.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/014662168400800312