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Measuring Stress Among Black Adolescents: Validation of Perceived Stress Scale

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The aim of this study was to validate the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), a widely used measure of stress, among Black adolescents. Using a sample of 1,170 Black adolescents from the National Survey of American Life – Adolescent Supplement, the study evaluated the factor structure and cross-gender measurement invariance of two versions of the PSS, the 14-item and 10-item versions. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to determine the factor structure of PSS. Multigroup CFA was carried out to test the measurement invariance of the PSS across genders. The findings support previous research in adults, indicating a two-dimensional factor structure for both versions of the PSS. Item 12 had a low loading on the theoretical factor in the PSS-14 and was removed in later analyses. In addition, the results showed that the two-factor model of PSS was invariant across gender suggesting that observed gender differences may not be attributed to gender bias. The findings also suggest that scores on the PSS are linked to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) among Black adolescents. The findings suggest that PSS is a valid tool to assess perceived stress among Black adolescents; however, researchers and practitioners should not ignore the multi-dimensional nature of the scale.

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This study was supported by the Madge W. Harrington Professorship at The University of Akron awarded to Wondimu Ahmed. The funder had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, the decision to publish, or the preparation of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Wondimu Ahmed.

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Ahmed, W. Measuring Stress Among Black Adolescents: Validation of Perceived Stress Scale. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 45, 1119–1126 (2023).

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