Negative Event (hassle) Scale for Middle Aged Adults (frequency and severity)

Author of Tool: 

Maybery, D. J.

Key references: 

Maybery D.J., Neale, J., Arentz, A. & Jones-Ellis J. (2007).The Negative Event Scale: measuring frequency and intensity of adult hassles. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 20(2) 163-176.

Primary use / Purpose: 

A measure of emotions relating to negative events (hassle) .


Maybery and colleagues initially highlighted face and content validity problems with hassle measurement generally and then demonstrated predictive validity improvements to the Lazarus hassle scale by adding a substantial range of interpersonal events (Maybery & Graham, 2001). In developing a new hassle measure for University students, a coherent, valid, and reliable component subscale structure was highlighted that included a number of interpersonal subscales (Maybery, 2003a). Further research employing that measure demonstrated the predictive utility of global versus molecular hassles whilst statistically controlling for common method bias (i.e. using personality variables; 2003b). While the new hassle scale makes a considerable contribution to the measurement of negative daily events, the development of the measure has been solely within University student samples.The psychometric qualities of these subscales were thought to be generic to both young and middle-aged adults, thereby providing preliminary evidence regarding the hassle scale for use in a larger adult population. Rather than ‘reinvent the wheel’ the ten subscales that were considered to be generic (work, money, and health hassles; interpersonal problems with spouse/partner, children, other relatives, friends, other workers, employer, and parents)formed the initial basis of this Negative Event (hassle) Scale for Middle Aged Adults (frequency and severity) measure. In data from students these scales have been shown to have valid and reliable component structures. The literature was also examined for additional factors that might be appropriate for an adult middle-aged sample.


The subscales had very good reliability and concurrent validity and there were generally strong correlations (i.e. up .84) between frequency and intensity scores for each subscale. Given some important sampling limitations (e.g. female overrepresentation) the findings show a psychometrically sound hassle scale for adults.



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