Rate your stress level by answering these questions and find your stress score. For each item, choose from the dropdown list the answer that best describes you.

Perceived Stress Calculator
In the last month:
- 1. How often have you been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?
- 2. How often have you felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?
- 3. How often have you felt nervous and "stressed"?
- 4. How often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your personal problems?
- 5. How often have you felt that things were going your way?
- 6. How often have you found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?
- 7. How often have you been able to control irritations in your life?
- 8. How often have you felt that you were on top of things?
- 9. How often have you been angered because of things that were outside of your control?
- 10. How often have you felt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcome them?

Your Perceived Stress Score =

Level:

Advice:

 

This test should be used only as a guidance; it is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

*Score Interpretation

Total Score

Perceived Stress Level

0-13

Low

14-26

Moderate

27-40

High

*Source: Amponsah M, Owolabi HO. Perceived Stress Levels of Fresh University Students in Ghana: A Case Study.British Journal of Educational Research 1(2): 153-169, 2011.


Evidence

The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) is a 10-item questionnaire originally developed by Cohen et al. (1983) widely used to assess stress levels in young people and adults aged 12 and above. It evaluates the degree to which an individual has perceived life as unpredictable, uncontrollable and overloading over the previous month.

FORMULA

The questions ask about feelings and thoughts during the last month. In each case, respondents are asked how often they felt a certain way on a five-point scale from ‘never’ to ‘very often’. Answers are then scored as follow:

Never = 0

Almost never = 1

Sometimes = 2

Fairly often = 3

Very often = 4

To calculate a total PSS score, responses to the four positively stated items (items 4, 5, 7 and 8) first need to be reversed (i.e. 0 => 4; 1 => 3; 2 => 2; 3 => 1; 4 => 0).

The PSS score is then obtained by summing across all items. Higher scores indicate higher levels of perceived stress.

Normative data are available for adult populations for Bangladesh (Mozumder, 2019), Germany (Klein et al. 2016), Greece (Andreou et al. 2011), Mexico (González-Ramírez et al. 2013) and Sweden (Nordin, 2013).

The Perceived Stress Scale is not a diagnostic instrument and the developer has not published any score cut-offs.

References

Cohen, S., & Janicki-Deverts, D. (2012). Who’s stressed? Distributions of psychological stress in the United States in probability samples from 1983, 2006, and 20091. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42(6), 1320–1334. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2012.00900.x

Founder

Dr. Sheldon Cohen

Sheldon Cohen received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from Monteith College, Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) in 1969 and a Ph.D. in Psychology from New York University in 1973. He was Assistant to Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon from 1973 through 1982, and has been a Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) since 1982. He was named the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology in 2003. Read more!

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