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Type: Journal article
Title: Measuring stress in Australia: validation of the perceived stress scale (PSS-14) in a national sample
Author: Ribeiro Santiago, P.H.
Nielsen, T.
Smithers, L.G.
Roberts, R.
Jamieson, L.
Citation: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 2020; 18(1):1-16
Publisher: BMC
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1477-7525
Statement of
Pedro H. Ribeiro Santiago, Tine Nielsen, Lisa Gaye Smithers, Rachel Roberts and Lisa Jamieson
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In Australia, the stress levels have increased over the years, impacting on the physical and mental health of the general population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of the PSS-14 in an Australian population. METHODS: The PSS-14 was applied to a large national sample comprising 3857 Australians in the population-based cross-sectional study Australia's National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004-2006. The psychometric properties analyzed with the Rasch model and Graphical Log-linear Rasch models were: model fit, item fit, local dependence, differential item functioning, unidimensionality, reliability, targeting and criterion validity. RESULTS: The PSS-14 did not fit the pure RM (χ2 (55) = 3828.3, p = < 0.001) and the unidimensionality of the whole scale was rejected (p = < 0.001). The Perceived Stress (χ2 (27) = 1409.7, p = < 0.001) and Perceived Control (χ2 (27) = 713.4, p = < 0.001) subscales did not fit the pure RM. After the deletion of two items, the Perceived Stress subscale (χ2 (96) = 94.4, p = 0.440) fitted a GLLRM, while the Perceived Control scale (χ2 (55) = 62.50, p = 0.224) fitted a GLLRM after the exclusion of four misfitting items. CONCLUSIONS: The Perceived Stress subscale displayed adequate psychometric properties after the deletion of two items; however, the majority of problems centered around the Perceived Control subscale. The presence of differential item functioning among four items indicates that adjustment of total scores is required to avoid measurement bias. Recommendations for future applications in Australia are provided.
Keywords: Australia
Differential item functioning
Measurement invariance
Perceived stress scale
Psychological stress
Rasch analysis
Rights: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
DOI: 10.1186/s12955-020-01343-x
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