Published Papers - Abstract 119

Bell S & Lee C. Development of the perceived stress questionnaire for young women. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 2002; 7(2): 189-201

The Perceived Stress Questionnaire for Young Women (PSQYW) was developed for the Women’s Health Australia (WHA) project as a measure of the level and perceived sources of stress. A total of 14,779 women aged 18-23 completed the baseline survey. The PSQYW scale was shown to be internally reliable, unifactorial, and to have content validity. Convergent construct validity was demonstrated most strongly with measures of mental health, life events and symptoms, and more weakly with the health behaviours of smoking and alcohol bingeing. There was no relationship with physical activity. Multiple regression showed that illness, physical health, mental health and life events explained 44% of the variance, with mental health explaining the most. Construct validity for the life domains indicated 5 factors relating to family of origin, relationships with others, own health, work/money and study. The PSQYW was proposed to be an adequate measure of overall perceived stress and to be able to indicate broad life domain perceived stress sources for young women. Further research with broader demographic samples is proposed to enable the PSQYW to be used as a succinct method of assessing perceived stress levels and sources by GPs, and other health practitioners.