Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)

Author of Tool: 

Cohen, S.

Key references: 

Cohen, S., & Janicki-Deverts, D. (2012). Who's stressed? Distributions of psychological stress in the United States in probability samples from 1983, 2006 and 2009. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

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 U.S. In S. Spacapam & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health: Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.. 

Cohen, S., & Janicki-Deverts, D. (2012). Who's stressed? Distributions of psychological stress in the United States in probability samples from 1983, 2006 and 2009. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.  

Primary use / Purpose: 

Measures the degree to which situations in one's life are appraised as stressful

Background: 

Potentially stressful life events are thought to increase risk for disease when one perceives that the demands these events impose tax or exceed a person’s adaptive capacity (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). In turn, the perception of stress may influence the pathogenesis of physical disease by causing negative affective states (e.g., feelings of anxiety and depression), which then exert direct effects on physiological processes or behavioral patterns that influence disease risk (Cohen, Janicki-Deverts, & Miller, 2007). The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) measures psychological stress associated with sex, age, education, income, employment status, and a number of other demographics.  measures psychological stress associated with   mm

Psychometrics: 

The PSS showed adequate reliability and, as predicted, was correlated with life-event scores, depressive and physical symptomology, utilisation of health services, and social anxiety. For full psychometrics see: Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396.

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