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, 12 (1), 5-12

The Measurement of Subjective Response to Stressful Life Events

The Measurement of Subjective Response to Stressful Life Events

E A Marziali et al. J Human Stress.

Abstract

A scale was developed to assess subjective responses to stressful life events. Over 400 subjects (divided between psychiatric patients and nonpatients) completed the 14-item response-to-stress scale for events perceived as personally important. Optimal scale item weights were assigned on the basis of Nishisato's dual scaling procedure. Four items, typically associated with responses to stress, did not contribute to the item-weight solution and were dropped from the scale. Factor analyses showed that responses to stress loaded on one bipolar factor composed of four emotional distress items and six control-management items. In contrast to previous methods developed to assess response to stress, there was less than 4% overlap between the subjective response to stress mean scores and the total number of events endorsed by each subject. Also, the correlations between simple event counts and symptom index scores were smaller than those between the subjective stress-response scores and the symptom variable. The influence of demographic factors on both the patients' and nonpatients' responses to stress were analyzed.

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