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Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10)

Developers: S. Cohen, T. Kamarck & R. Mermelstein (1983). Access: Available from http://www.macses.ucsf.edu/Research/Psychosocial/notebook/PSS10.html OR can be found in the following articles: Cohen, S., Karmarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 24, 385-396. Cohen, S., & Williamson, G. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapam & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health: Claremont Symposium on applied social psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Cost: Available free of charge for academic research or educational purposes. Copyright: Acknowledgement of PSS-10 authors required Description: A self-report questionnaire. The items are easy to understand and the response alternatives are simple to grasp. The questions are general in nature and relatively free of content specific to any sub-population group (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983). The PSS-10 can be used to determine whether appraised stress is an etiological factor in behavioural disorders or disease. Items of the PSS were designed to tap how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded respondents find their lives (Cohen & Williamson, 1988). PSS-10 has been found to provide better predictions for psychological symptoms, physical symptoms and utilization of health services than other similar instruments (Cohen & Williamson, 1988). In a cross-sectional study, higher PSS scores were associated with greater vulnerability to stressful life-event-elicited symptoms (Kuiper, Olinger, & Lyons, 1986). Administration: The PSS was originally developed as a 14 item instrument, designed to measure the degree to which situations in ones life are appraised as stressful (Cohen et al., 1983). A shorter 10 item version of the original PSS, was developed and allows assessment of perceived stress without any loss of psychometric quality (Cohen & Williamson, 1988). The questions in the PSS ask about thoughts and feelings during the last month. In each question the respondent is asked how often they felt a certain way. The PSS-10 is an economical scale that can be administered in only a few minutes and is easy to score (Cohen & Williamson, 1988). Scoring and Interpretation: The PSS-10 scores are obtained by reversing the scores on the four positively stated items, e.g. 0=4, 1=3, 2=2, 3=1 and 4=0 and then sum across all 10 items. Items 4, 5, 7
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Perceived Stress Scale: General Information Summary Julia Bowman, UWS, 2005

and 8 are the positively stated items. The higher the PSS score, the more likely it is that the individual will perceive that environmental demands exceed their ability to cope. Population Groups: Designed for use with the general community with at least a junior high school education. Languages: English ICF Levels: Level Addressed by Measure Body Function/Structure Activity Participation Psychometric Properties: Published Data Available for the Measure Validity Face Content Criterion Construct 2 Concurrent 1 Predictive 1 Reliability Test-retest 1 2 Intra-rater Inter-rater Yes No Yes No

Other information available Responsiveness to change Standardised 1 Clinically important change Clinical utility 1
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Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396. 2 Cohen, S., & Williamson, G. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapam & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health: Claremont Symposium on applied psychology (pp. 31-67). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
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Perceived Stress Scale: General Information Summary

Julia Bowman, UWS, 2005

References: Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396. Cohen, S., & Williamson, G. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapam & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health: Claremont Symposium on applied psychology (pp. 31-67). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Kuiper, N. A., Olinger, L. J., & Lyons, L. M. (1986). Global perceived stress level as a moderator of the relationship between negative life events and depression. Journal of Human Stress, 12, 149-153. Linville, P. W. (1987). Self-complexity as a cognitive buffer against stress-related illness and depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 663-676.

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Perceived Stress Scale: General Information Summary Julia Bowman, UWS, 2005