Development and assessment of stressful life events subscales – A preliminary analysis

the STRONG Kids Research Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Stress affects people of all ages, genders, and cultures and is associated with physical and psychological complications. Stressful life events are an important research focus and a psychometrically valid measure could provide useful clinical information. The purpose of the study was to develop a reliable and valid measurement of stressful life events and to assess its reliability and validity using established measures of social support, stress, depression, anxiety and maternal and child health. Methods The authors used an adaptation from the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) to describe the prevalence of life events; they developed a 4-factor stressful life events subscales and used Medical Outcomes Social Support Scale, Social Support Scale, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and 14 general health items for validity analysis. Analyses were performed with descriptive statistics, Cronbach's alpha, Spearman's rho, Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test and Wilcoxon 2-sample test. Results The 4-factor stressful life events subscales showed acceptable reliability. The resulting subscale scores were significantly associated with established measures of social support, depression, anxiety, stress, and caregiver health indicators. Limitations The study presented a number of limitations in terms of design and recall bias. Conclusions Despite the presence of a number of limitations, the study provided valuable insight and suggested that further investigation is needed in order to determine the effectiveness of the measures in revealing the family's wellbeing and to develop and strengthen a more detailed analysis of the stressful life events/health association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 15 2018


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Factor analysis
  • Life events
  • Social support
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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