Objectives: This study was conducted to examine the psychometric properties of the French versions of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and to compare the appropriateness of the three versions of this scale (14 items, 10 items, or 4 items) in a sample of workers.
Materials and methods: Five hundred and one workers were randomly selected in several occupational health care centers of the North of France during 2010. Participants completed a questionnaire including demographic variables and the PSS. The psychometric properties of this scale were analyzed: internal consistency, factorial structure, and discriminative sensibility.
Results: For the PSS-14 and PSS-10, the Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) provided a two-factor structure, corresponding to the positively and negatively worded items. Those two factors were significantly correlated (r = 0.43 and 0.50, respectively). For the PSS-4, the EFA yielded a one-factor structure. The reliability was high for all three versions of the PSS (Cronbach's α values ranged from 0.73 to 0.84). The results concerning the effects of age, gender, marital, parental and occupational statuses showed that the 10-item version had the best discriminative sensibility.
Conclusions: The findings confirmed satisfactory psychometric properties of all the three French versions of the PSS. We recommend the use of the PSS-10 in research settings because of its good psychometric properties.