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Perceived Stress Scale

Administration Method
Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Terzian, M., Moore, K. & Nguyen, H. (2010). Assessing stress in children and youth: A guide for out-of-school time program practitioners. Research-to-Results Brief. Child Trends.

Sources cited:
Cohen, S., & Williamson, G. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapan & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health: Claremont Symposium on applied social psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396.
Scoring / Benchmarking
Score questions 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 10 as:
Never = 0
Almost Never = 1
Sometimes = 2
Fairly Often = 3
Very Often =4

Reverse score questions 4, 5, 7, and 8:
Never = 4
Almost Never = 3
Sometimes = 2
Fairly Often = 1
Very Often = 0

Add the scores for all 10 items together. The minimum score is 0, and the maximum score is 40. Higher scores indicate a high level of stress.
Is there a cost associated with this tool?

This is a self-report tool suitable for high schoolers or adults who have at least a junior high school level of education.  It is intended as a risk-assessment tool.

 It is designed to “assess feelings of being overwhelmed and being unable to control or predict events in one’s life” ( 


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