Perceived stress, life events, dysfunctional attitudes, and depression in adolescent psychiatric inpatients

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Hewitt, Flett, and Mosher (1992) examined the factor structure of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and its relation to depression in adult psychiatric patients. This study sought to replicate and extend their findings, using a sample of 203 adolescent psychiatric inpatients. All patients admitted to the adolescent unit in a psychiatric hospital over a 3-year period were administered the PSS, as well as measures of depression, life events, dysfunctional attitudes, and intellectual abilities. Consistent with Hewittet al., two factors were found in the PSS, reflecting perceived distress and perceived coping ability. Regression analyses indicated that, for males, both factors account for independent variance in depression, whereas for females, only the distress factor is related to depression. In addition, for both male and female, dysfunctional attitudes account for significant variance in depression in addition to PSS, but negative life events do not. None of the variables were related to intellectual abilities. Implications for clinical assessment and intervention are discussed.