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01.12.2016 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2016

The German version of the Perceived Stress Scale – psychometric characteristics in a representative German community sample

Zeitschrift:
BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2016
Autoren:
Eva M. Klein, Elmar Brähler, Michael Dreier, Leonard Reinecke, Kai W. Müller, Gabriele Schmutzer, Klaus Wölfling, Manfred E. Beutel

Abstract

Background

The Perceived Stress Scale Cohen (J Health Soc Behav 24:385-96, 1983) is a widely and well-established self-report scale measuring perceived stress. However, the German version of the PSS-10 has not yet been validated. Thus, the purposes of this representative study were to psychometrically evaluate the PSS-10, and to provide norm values for the German population.

Methods

The PSS-10 and standardized scales of depression, anxiety, fatigue, procrastination and life satisfaction were administered to a representative, randomly selected German community sample consisting of 1315 females and 1148 male participants in the age range from 14 to 90 years.

Results

The results demonstrated a good internal consistency and construct validity. Perceived stress was consistently associated with depression, anxiety, fatigue, procrastination and reduced life satisfaction. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a bi-dimensional structure with two related latent factors. Regarding demographic variables, women reported a higher level of stress than men. Perceived stress decreased with higher education, income and employment status. Older and married participants felt less stressed than younger and unmarried participants.

Conclusion

The PSS-10 is a reliable, valid and economic instrument for assessing perceived stress. As psychological stress is associated with an increased risk of diseases, identifying subpopulations with higher levels of stress is essential. Due to the dependency of the perceived stress level on demographic variables, particularly age and sex, differentiated norm values are needed, which are provided in this paper.
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