Saturday, November 12
Sat, Nov 12, 10:30 AM - 10:55 AM
Promenade Upper
Saturday Poster Session, Part 1

Measuring Stress: Adequacy of a Single Scaled Response---A Comparison of a Single 10-Point Measure vs. Cohen's Perceived Stress Score (303552)

Sophie Bethune, American Psychological Association 
Jim Llewellyn, Nielsen 
Michele Salomon, Nielsen 
*Aimee Vella Ripley, Nielsen 

Keywords: Measurement, Survey Measurement, Online Survey

Since 2007, the American Psychological Association (APA) has commissioned Harris Poll to conduct The Stress in America™ survey measuring attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public and identifies leading sources of stress, common behaviors used to manage stress and the impact of stress on our lives. The results of the survey draw attention to the serious physical and emotional implications of stress and the inextricable link between the mind and body. Each year prior thirty day stress is measured using a simple 10-point scale where 1= little to no stress and 10=a great deal of stress. Over the course of the past three years (2013, 2014, 2015) we also employed Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), a self-reported instrument with 10 items which has been widely used as a measure of psychological stress where respondents self-report the degree to which situations in their life are appraised as stressful over the prior 30-day period. Our analysis focused on measuring the reliability of the simple 10-point scale in accurately capturing adults’ stress levels and to determine how correlated these results were compared to the full 10-item PSS instrument (used in 2013 and 2014) and the shorter four-item version (used in 2015). Our analysis compared the scores from the PSS with the single 10-point measure and found a very high correlation in response patterns. Findings from the APA research are consistent with results of the PSS research in finding that women report more stress than men and that older adults report less stress than younger adults. Our research strongly suggests that the single measure adequately captures adults understanding of their stress compared to the detailed PSS and can be used as a reasonable substitute.