UCLA Life Stress Interview

Chronic Stress Assessment

Assessment of chronic stress covers ongoing, typical, conditions over at least the past 6 months in role domains such as quality of intimate (romantic) relationship, close friendships, social life, relations with family members (children), finances, work, health of self, health of family members. It differs from other approaches to chronic stress assessment or “ongoing difficulties” because it samples across several domains, and is thus not a measure of an enduring specific stressful life event. The nature and number of domains depends on the sample to be studied (e.g., for adolescent samples academic performance would be included). Chronic stress ratings may also be used as ratings of functioning in different domains. Semi-structured probes elicit pertinent specific information, and interviewers rate each domain on a 5-point scale with behaviorally specific anchors, such that 1 indicates superior conditions and 5 indicates exceptionally poor conditions. An example of scoring from the Close Friendship domain:

  • 1  -  Presence of an exceptionally high quality, close, confiding, friendship. Mutually satisfying, reciprocal, good conflict resolution, mutual disclosure in many areas and comforting, mutual loyalty, trusting, and stable
  • 2  -  Presence of a good quality, close, confiding friendship. Mutual disclosure in some areas and comforting, can trust with most things, reciprocal, satisfying, and stable
  • 3  -  Presence of a close, confiding, friendship although may be unstable at times, some trouble with conflict resolution or presence of only a moderately close friendship that is fairly stable and nonconflictual
  • 4  -  Presence of a poor quality friendship that is unstable, uncertain about trustworthiness, not reciprocal or presence of only a moderately close friendship that is sometimes unstable or conflictual
  • 5  -  Absence of a close, confiding friendship where there is no-one they feel close to or confide in.