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Measurement Invariance of the Perceived Stress Scale and Latent Mean Differences across Gender and Time


Correspondence: Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, College of Nursing, Washington State University, PO Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99210-1495, USA.



Measurement invariance of the 2-factor model of the Perceived Stress Scale—10-item version (Cohen & Williamson, 1988) was tested across men and women at two time points and in the combined total sample over a 2-year time frame (n = 871). Measurement invariance results indicated that the scale measured the latent factors, stress and counter-stress, equivalently in men and women and over time. With measurement invariance demonstrated, differences in latent means were tested. Results indicated that men had lower levels of frequencies of stressors, and at one time point, higher levels of counter-stress, when compared with women. When examining change in frequencies of stressors and counter-stress over 2 years with the combined male and female sample, stressors remained stable, yet counter-stress increased over time. These findings may aid in the interpretation of results when examining stressors and counter-stress in clinical samples where one would expect stress to increase, whereas positive psychological states decrease. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.