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Minerva Psichiatrica 2020 December;61(4):131-42

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.20.02071-3

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Development of the cross-cultural stress scale

Cindy O. JEAN-BAPTISTE 1 , R. Patti HERRING 2, W. Lawrence BEESON 3, Jim E. Banta 4, Hildemar DOS SANTOS 5

1 School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology, Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA; 2 School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA; 3 School of Public Health, Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyles and Disease Prevention, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA; 4 School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Leadership, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA; 5 School of Public Health, Department of Preventive Care, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA



BACKGROUND: Researchers have documented the association between stressful life events (SLEs) and health. We set to investigate racial/ethnic and nativity, USA-born vs. immigrant vs. first-generation variations in SLEs in the USA and develop a comprehensive stress-rating scale.
METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study in 2020 with 119 diverse individuals applying triangulation using interviews, an online survey and a focus group. Participants anonymously indicated their race/ethnicity and USA nativity and responded to identical open-ended questionnaires on demographic specific SLEs. Data were thematically coded. We incorporated focus group feedback for content validation and to refine the scale.
RESULTS: Interviewees (N.=34) and survey participants (N.=85) indicated variations in SLEs. Poverty and financial burdens weighed the heaviest. Whites reported no unique SLEs or that disproportionately affected their demographics. All non-Whites indicated racism and various discriminations in their top three. Unique SLEs included emerging coronavirus for Asians, fear of police for Blacks and belittling for Latinos. Immigrants majorly indicated political and immigration stressors including fear of deportation. A 55-item face- and content-validated instrument, the cross-cultural stress scale (CCSS), is presented. This study presents some limitations in the cross-cultural sample profile and the scale currently is needing future construct validity evaluation.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite a few limitations, these results highlight important prevalence and reactions to SLEs and thus can contribute to a growing literature on demographic-specific stressors and associated health outcomes. Our proposed stress-rating instrument accounts for the subjectivity reflected by different demographic groups and their interpretations of their stated life events.


KEY WORDS: Stress, psychological; Life change events; Cross-cultural comparison

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