BCS, PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, PCS3
Permission is not necessary for nonprofit research or nonprofit educational purposes; if your institution requires a letter/email of permission, please contact Dr. Cohen.
For usage in for-profit endeavors, please contact both Dr. Cohen and the American Sociological Association for instructions.
1. Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396.
2. Cohen, S., & Janicki-Deverts, D. (2012). Who's stressed? Distributions of psychological stress in the United States in probability samples from 1983, 2006 and 2009. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. CMU Press Release, spring 2012
To assess the degree to which people perceive their lives as stressful
Type of Measure
Using a 5-point frequency scale, respondents indicate how often during the past month they found their lives to be unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded.
0 = Never, 1 = Almost Never, 2 = Sometimes, 3 = Fairly Often, 4= Very Often
Number of Items
PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, PCS3: 10
- In the last month, how often have you been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?
- In the last month, how often have you felt nervous and “stressed”?
Internal consistency in combined BCS, PCS2, PMBC, and PCS3 samples (n = 1142): Cronbach’s α = 0.86
Test-retest reliability in PCS1 (n = 274): one week, r = 0.85; two weeks, r = 0.82
10-item Scale (PCS1, PCS, PMBC, PCS3)Reverse Items: 4, 5, 7,8
Sum Items 1, 2, 3, 4R, 5R, 6, 7R, 8R, 9, 10
14-item Scale (BCS)Reversed Items: 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13
Sum Items: 1, 2, 3, 4R, 5R, 6R, 7R, 8, 9R, 10R, 11, 12, 13R, 14
Total Perceived Stress Score