The Perceived Stress Scale: Factor structure and relation to depression symptoms in a psychiatric sample

  • Paul L. Hewitt
  • Gordon L. Flett
  • Shawn W. Mosher


The present study sought to examine the factor structure and psychometric properties of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) when administered to psychiatric patients. We also examined predictive validity of the PSS by assessing the association between the Perceived Stress Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory. A heterogeneous sample of 96 psychiatric patients (48 men, 48 women) completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the Beck Depression Inventory. Factor analysis of the PSS established that the scale consisted of two factors. The first factor was comprised primarily of items reflecting adaptational symptoms. In contrast, the second factor consisted of items reflecting coping ability. Both factors had an adequate degree of internal consistency. Finally, a series of regression analyses predicting depression found that both factors accounted for unique variance in depression scores in women, but only the first factor accounted for unique variance in men. It is concluded that the PSS is a multidimensional and internally consistent measure of perceived stress.

Key words

Perceived Stress Scale distress coping depression 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul L. Hewitt
    • 1
  • Gordon L. Flett
    • 2
  • Shawn W. Mosher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WinnipegWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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