THE PERCEIVED STRESS SCALE (PSS)

INSTRUCTIONS

This scale is used to assess stress levels in young people and adults aged 12 and above. It evaluates the degree to which an individual has perceived life as unpredictable, uncontrollable and overloading over the previous month.

In each case, you will be asked to indicate how often you felt or thought a certain way. Although some of the questions are similar, there are differences between them and you should treat each one as a separate question. The best approach is to answer fairly quickly. That is, don’t try to count up the number of times you felt a particular way; rather indicate the alternative that seems like a reasonable estimate

For each question choose from the following alternatives:

0 – never; 1 – almost never; 2 – sometimes;

3 – fairly often; 4 – very often

QUESTIONNAIRE:

l. In the last month, how often have you been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?

  1. In the last month, how often have you felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?
  2. In the last month, how often have you felt nervous and stressed?
  3. In the last month, how often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your personal problems?
  4. In the last month, how often have you felt that things were going your way?
  5. In the last month, how often have you found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?
  6. In the last month, how often have you been able to control irritations in your life?
  7. In the last month, how often have you felt that you were on top of things?
  8. In the last month, how often have you been angered because of things that happened that were outside of your control?
  9. In the last month, how often have you felt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcome them?

SCORING

First, reverse your scores for questions 4, 5, 7, and 8. On these 4 questions, change the scores like this: 0 = 4, 1 = 3, 2 = 2, 3 = 1, 4 = 0.

• Now add up your scores for each item to get a total.

• Individual scores on the PSS can range from 0 to 40 with higher scores indicating higher perceived stress.

► Scores ranging from 0-13 would be considered low stress.

► Scores ranging from 14-26 would be considered moderate stress.

► Scores ranging from 27-40 would be considered high perceived stress.

Source: Cohen et al. (1983 )

Disclaimer: The scores on the following self-assessment do not reflect any particular diagnosis or course of treatment. They are meant as a tool to help assess your level of stress. If you have any further concerns about your current well being, you may contact a healthcare professional.


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