Life stress as a determinant of emotional well-being: development and validation of a Spanish-Language Checklist of Stressful Life Events
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHealth Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. 2014, 2 (1), 390-411. 10.1080/21642850.2014.897624
Objectives: To develop a screening instrument for investigating the prevalence and impact of stressful life events in Spanish-speaking Peruvian adults. Background: Researchers have demonstrated the causal connection between life stress and psychosocial and physical complaints. The need for contextually relevant and updated instruments has been also addressed. Methods: A sequential exploratory design combined qualitative and quantitative information from two studies: first, the content validity of 20 severe stressors (N = 46); then, a criterion-related validity process with affective symptoms as criteria (Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25), N = 844). Results: 93% of the participants reported one to eight life events (X = 3.93, Mdn = 3, SD = 7.77). Events increase significantly until 60 years of age (Mdn = 6). Adults born in inland regions (Mdn = 4) or with secondary or technical education (Mdn = 5) reported significantly more stressors than participants born in Lima or with higher education. There are no differences by gender. Four-step hierarchical models showed that life stress is the best unique predictor (β) of HSCL anxiety, depression and general distress (p < .001). Age and gender are significant for the three criteria (p < .01, p < .001); lower education and unemployment are significant unique predictors of general distress and depression (p < .01; p < .05). Previously, the two-factor structure of the HSCL-25 was verified (Satorra–Bentler chi-square, root-mean-square error of approximation = 0.059; standardized root-mean-square residual = 0.055). Conclusion: The Spanish-Language Checklist of Stressful Life Events is a valid instrument to identify adults with significant levels of life stress and possible risk for mental and physical health (clinical utility).