Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)

  • Sherilynn F. Chan
  • Annette M. La Greca
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_773


The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is a 14-item self-report measure designed to assess “the degree to which situations in one’s life are appraised as stressful” (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983, p. 385). Specifically, items are designed to measure the extent to which one’s life is perceived as “unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloading” (Cohen et al., 1983, p. 387). The measure was intended for use with community samples of adolescents or adults with an educational level of junior high school or more. Sample items include the following: “In the last month…how often have you been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?,” “…how often have you felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?,” and “…how often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your personal problems?” (Cohen et al., 1983). Half of the questions are positively stated and reverse coded. Each item is rated on a 5-point scale (0 = Never, 1 = Almost...

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References and Readings

  1. Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385–396.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  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 social psychology. Newbury Park, CA: SageGoogle Scholar
  3. Hewitt, P. L., Flett, G. L., & Mosher, S. W. (1992). The perceived stress scale: Factor structure and relation to depression symptoms in a psychiatric sample. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 14, 247–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Martin, R. A., Kazarian, S. S., & Brieter, H. J. (1995). Perceived stress, life events, dysfunctional attitudes, and depression in adolescent psychiatric inpatients. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 17, 81–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Roberti, J., Harrington, L., & Storch, E. (2006). Further psychometric support for the 10-item version of the perceived stress scale. Journal of College Counseling, 9(2), 135–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA