Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-9q27g Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-25T02:00:12.876Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - Measuring emotional and behavioral response

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 September 2009

Gillian H. Ice
Ohio University
Gary D. James
State University of New York, Binghamton
Get access



This chapter aims to review measures of the emotional and behavioral responses to stressors. As reviewed in Chapter 1, there are multiple cognitive responses to a stressor starting with the appraisal of a stressor. After a person appraises a stressor or evaluates it as a threat, s/he will experience a stress response, often including an emotional and behavioral response. For example, an individual is exposed to the stressor of caring for a relative with dementia, s/he may feel burdened, anxious and sad. This same person may engage in various coping behaviors such as smoking or seeking solace at a place of worship. The way that an individual responds to a stressor (from the appraisal through the stress response) depends on various factors (e.g. personality, coping resources) which may mediate or moderate the way in which an individual appraises and then responds to a stressor. For example, this same caregiver, may have a large supportive family which minimizes the appraisal of threat or the emotional response in comparison to an individual without such support. The reader should refer to Chapters 1 and 2 for the definition of the concepts of mediators, moderators, appraisal and behavioral and emotional responses as this chapter will focus on the measurement approaches and will briefly review published measures of such concepts and different measurement approaches. One should note, as discussed in Chapters 1 and 2, that often these cognitive processes are lumped together in a single measure of “perceived stress.”

Measuring Stress in Humans
A Practical Guide for the Field
, pp. 60 - 93
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Bakeman, R. and Gottman, J. (1997). Observing Interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bloor, M. (2001). Focus Groups in Social Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bolger, N., Davis, A. and Rafaeli, E. (2003). Diary methods: capturing life as it is lived. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 579–616.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brandstatter, H. (1983). Emotional responses to other persons in everyday life situations. Journal of Personality and Social Behavior, 45, 871–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Breslau, J. (2004). Cultures of trauma: anthropological views of posttraumatic stress disorder in international health. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 28, 113–26.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Carmines, E. G. and Zeller, R. A. (1979). Reliabilty and Validity Assessment. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F. and Weintraub, W. S. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2, 267–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chang, E. C. (1998). Dispositional optimism and primary and secondary appraisal of a stressor: controlling for confounding influences and relations to coping and psychological and physical adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(4), 1109–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, M. S. (1992). Emotion. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
Cohen, F. (1991). Measurement of coping. In Stress and Coping: An Anthology, ed. Monat, A. and Lazarus, R. S.. New York: Columbia University Press, 228–44.Google Scholar
Cohen, F. (1995). Psychological stress and susceptibility to upper respiratory infections. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 152(4 Pt 2), S53–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J. and Skoner, D. P. (1999). Psychological stress, cytokine production, and severity of upper respiratory illness. Psychosomatic Medicine, 61(2), 175–80.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cohen, S., Kamarck, T. and Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health, Society and Behavior, 24(4), 385–96.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cohen, S., Kessler, R. C. and Underwood, L. G. (1997). Measuring Stress. A Guide for Health and Social Scientists. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Cohen, S. and Lichtenstein, E. (1990). Perceived stress, quitting smoking, and smoking relapse. Health Psychology, 9(4), 466–78.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cohen, S., Tyrrell, D. A. J. and Smith, A. H. (1993). Negative life events, perceived stress, negative affect, and susceptibility to the common cold. Journal of Personality and Social Behavior, 64(1), 131–40.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cohen, S. and Williamson, G. M. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In The Social Psychology of Health., ed. Spacapan, S. and Oskamp, S.. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
Converse, J. M. and Presser, S. C. (1986). Survey Questions. Handcrafting the Standardized Questionnaire. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Csikszenthmihalyi, M. and Larson, R. (1987). Validity and reliability of the experience-sampling method. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 175(9), 526–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Csikszenthmihalyi, M., Larson, R. and Prescott, S. (1977). The ecology of adolescent activity and experience. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 6, 281–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Munck, V. C. and Sobo, E. J. (1998). Using Methods in the Field. A Practical Introduction and Casebook. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
Derluyn, I., Broekaert, E., Schuyten, G. and Temmerman, E. (2004). Post-traumatic stress in former Ugandan child soldiers. Lancet, 363, 861–1648.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
DeVellis, R. F. (2003). Scale Development. Theory and Applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
Dewe, P. (1991). Primary appraisal, secondary appraisal and coping: Their role in stressful work encounters. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 64, 331–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dienner, E. and Emmons, A. (1985). The independence of positive and negative affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1105–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eckenrode, J. and Bolger, N. (1997). Daily and within-day event measurement. In Measuring Stress. A Guide for Health and Social Scientists, ed. Cohen, S., Kessler, R. C. and Underwood, L. G.. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Edgerton, R. B. (1966). Conceptions of psychosis in four East African societies. American Anthropologist, 68(2), 408–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edgerton, R. B. (1971). A traditional African psychiatrist. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 27, 259–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edgerton, R. B. (1980). Traditional treatment for mental illness in Africa: A review. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 4, 167–89.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Edgerton, R. B. and Cohen, A. (1994). Culture and schizophrenia: The DOSMD challenge. British Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 222–31.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Feldman Barrett, L. and Barrett, D. J. (2001). An introduction to computerized experience sampling in psychology. Social Science Computer Review, 19(2), 175–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fliege, H., Rose, M., Arck, P. et al. (2005). The Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ) reconsidered: validation and reference values from different clinical and healthy adult samples. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67, 78–88.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Folkman, S. and Lazarus, R. S. (1980). Manual for the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
Folkman, S., Lazarus, R. S., Gruen, R. J. and DeLongis, A. (1986). Appraisal, coping, health status and psychological symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 571–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fowler, F. J. (1993). Survey Research Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
Fowler, F. J. (1995). Improving Survey Questions. Design and Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
Ghiselli, E. E., Campbell, J. P. and Zedeck, S. (1981). Measurement Theory for the Behavioral Sciences. San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
Gravlee, C. E. (2002). Mobile computer-assisted personal interviewing with handheld computers: the Entryware System 3.0. Field Methods, 14(3), 322–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hewitt, P. L., Flett, G. L. and Mosher, S. W. (1992). The perceived stress scale: factor structure and relation to depression symptoms in a psychiatric sample. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 14(3), 247–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ice, G. H. (2004). Technological advances in observational data collection: the advantages and limitations of computer assisted data collection. Field Methods, 16(3), 352–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ice, G. H., James, G. D. and Crews, D. (2003). Blood pressure variation in the institutionalized elderly. Collegium Antropologicum, 27(2), 47–56.Google ScholarPubMed
Ice, G. H., Katz-Stein, A., Himes, J. H. and Kane, R. L. (2004). Diurnal cycles of salivary cortisol in older adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 29(3), 355–70.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
James, G. D. (1991). Blood pressure response to daily stressors of urban environments: methodology, basic concepts and significance. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 34, 189–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, G. D. (2001). Evaluation of journals, diaries, and indexes of worksite environmental stress. In Contemporary Cardiology: Blood Pressure Monitoring in Cardiovascular Medicine and Therapeutics, ed. White, W.. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, pp. 29–44.Google Scholar
James, G. D., Broege, P. and Schlussel, Y. (1996). Assessing cardiovascular risk and stress-related blood pressure variability in young women employed in wage jobs. American Journal of Human Biology, 8, 743–9.3.0.CO;2-U>CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
James, G. D., Moucha, O. P. and Pickering, T. G. (1991). The normal hourly variation of blood pressure in women: average patterns and the effect of work stress. Journal of Human Hypertension, 5(6), 505–9.Google ScholarPubMed
James, G. D., Yee, L. S., Harshfield, G. A., Blank, S. G. and Pickering, T. G. (1986). The influence of happiness, anger, and anxiety on the blood pressure of borderline hypertensives. Psychosomatic Medicine, 48(7), 502–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
James, G. D., Yee, L. S. and Pickering, T. G. (1990). Winter–summer differences in the effects of emotion, posture and place of measurement on blood pressure. Social Science and Medicine, 31(11), 1213–17.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jenkins, J. H. and Karno, M. (1992). The meaning of expressed emotion: theoretical issues raised by cross-cultural research. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 9–21.Google ScholarPubMed
Kaaya, S. F., Fawzi, M. C. S., Mbwambo, al. (2002). Validity of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 amongst HIV-positive pregnant women in Tanzania. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 106, 9–19.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kahng, S. and Iwata, B. A. (1998). Computerized systems for collecting real-time observational data. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31, 253–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katz, M. M., Marsella, A., Dube, K. al. (1988). On the expression of psychosis in different cultures: schizophrenia in an Indian and in a Nigerian community. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 12, 331–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krueger, R. (1998). Focus Group Tool Kit. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
Larsen, R. J. and Diener, E. (1992). Promises and problems with the circumplex model of emotion. In Emotion, ed. Clark, M. S.. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 13: 25–59.Google Scholar
Lawton, M. P., Kleban, M. H., Dean, J., Rajagopal, D. and Parmelee, P. A. (1992). The factorial generality of brief positive and negative affect measures. Journal of Gerontology, 47(4), 228–37.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lazarus, R. S. (1984). Puzzles in the study of daily hassles. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 7, 375–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and Adaptation. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lazarus, R. S. and Folkman, S. (1984a). Coping and adaptation. In Handbook of Behavioral Medicine, ed. Gentry, W. D.. New York: Guilford Press, pp. 282–325.Google Scholar
Lazarus, R. S. and Folkman, S. (1984b). Stress, Appraisal and Coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
Lerner, P. (1979). Handbook of Ethological Methods. New York: Garland STPM Press.Google Scholar
Levenstein, S., Prantera, C., Varvo, al. (1993). Development of the Perceived Stress Questionnaire: a new tool for psychosomatic research. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 37(1), 19–32.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lilienfeld, D. E. and Stolley, P. D. (1994). Foundations of Epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Marlowe, N. (1998). Stressful events, appraisal, coping and recurrent headache. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 59(10), 1107–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, P. and Bateson, P. (1993). Measuring Behavior. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, R. A., Kazarian, S. S. and Breiter, H. J. (1995). Perceived stress, life events, dysfunctional attitudes, and depression in adolescent psychiatric inpatients. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 17(1), 81–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McNair, D., Lorr, M. and Droppleman, L. (1971). Psychiatric Outpatient Mood Scale. Boston: Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Boston University Medical Center.Google Scholar
Messick, S. (1995). Validity of psychological assessment. Validation of inferences from persons' responses and performances as scientific inquiry into score meaning. American Psychologist, 50(9), 741–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Monroe, S. M. and Kelley, J. M. (1997). Measurement of stress appraisal. In Measuring Stress. A Guide for Health and Social Scientists., ed. Cohen, S., Kessler, R. C. and Gordon, L. U.. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 122–47.Google Scholar
Morgan, C. A. (1993). Successful Focus Groups: Advancing the State of the Art. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morgan, D. L. (1997). Focus Groups as Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morris, J. E. and Long, B. C. (2002). Female clerical workers' occupational stress: the role of the person and social resources, negative affectivity and stress appraisals. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49(4), 395–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Myers, F. R. (1979). Emotions and self: a theory of personhood and the political order among Pintupi Aborigines. Ethos, 7, 343–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Netemeyer, R. G., Bearden, W. O. and Sharma, S. (2003). Scaling Procedures. Issues and Applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nunnaly, J. and Bernstein, I. (1994). Psychometric Theory. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
Ockenfels, M. C., Porter, L., Smyth, J. et al. (1995). Effect of chronic stress associated with unemployment on salivary cortisol: overall cortisol levels, diurnal rhythm, and acute stress reactivity. Psychosomatic Medicine, 57(5), 460–7.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Oksenberg, L., Cannell, C. and Kalton, G. (1991). New strategies of pretesting survey questions. Journal of Official Statistics, 7(3), 349–66.Google Scholar
Patel, V. (2001). Cultural factors and international epidemiology. British Medical Bulletin, 57, 33–45.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Patel, V., Araya, R., Lima, M., Ludermir, A. and Todd, C. (1999). Women, poverty and common mental disorders in four restructuring societies. Social Science and Medicine, 49, 1461–71.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Peacock, E. J. and Wong, P. T. P. (1990). The stress appraisal measure (SAM): a multidimensional approach to cognitive appraisal. Stress Medicine, 6, 227–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pham, P. N., Weinstein, H. M. and Longman, T. (2004). Trauma and PTSD symptoms in Rwanda. Implications for attitudes toward justice and reconciliation. Journal of the American Medical Association, 292(5), 602–12.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pike, I. L. and Young, A. (2002). Understanding psychosocial health among reproductive age women from Turkana District, Kenya and Mbulu District, Tanzania. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting Abstracts, 479.Google Scholar
Plutchik, R. (1989). Measuring emotions and their derivatives. In Emotion: Theory, Research and Experience, Volume, 4. The Measurement of Emotions. ed. Plutchik, R. and Kellerman, H.. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, pp. 1–35.Google Scholar
Plutchik, R. and Kellerman, H. (1989). Emotion. Theory, Research and Experience. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Rosner, B. (1995). Fundamentals of Biostatistics. Belmont, CA: Duxbury Press.Google Scholar
Rowley, A. A., Roesch, S. C., Jurica, B. J. and Vaughn, A. A. (2005). Developing and validating a stress appraisal measure for minority adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 28, 547–57.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sanz-Carrillo, C., Garcia-Campayo, J., Rubio, A., Santed, M. A. and Montoro, M. (2002). Validation of the Spanish version of the Perceived Stress Questionnaire. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 52(3), 167–72.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schwartz, J. E., Neale, J., Marco, C., Shiffman, S. S. and Stone, A. A. (1999). Does trait coping exist? A momentary assessment approach to the evaluation of traits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(2), 360–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schwarzer, R. and Schwarzer, C. (1996). A critical survey of coping instruments. In Handbook of Coping: Theory, Research, Applications, ed. Zeidner, M. and Endler, N. S.. New York: Wiley, pp. 107–32.Google Scholar
Shaver, P. R., Wu, S. and Schwartz, J. C. (1992). Cross-cultural similarities and differences in emotion and its representation. In Emotion, ed. Clark, M. S.. Newbury Park: Sage. 13: 175–212.Google Scholar
Sidener, T. M., Shabani, D. B. and Carr, J. E. (2004). A review of the Behavioral Evaluation Strategy & Taxonomy (BEST) Software application. Behavioral Interventions, in press.Google Scholar
Smyth, J., Ockenfels, M., Porter, L., Kirschbaum, C., Hellhammer, D. and Stone, A. (1998). Stressors and mood measured on a momentary basis are associated with salivary cortisol secretion. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 22, 353–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spector, P. E. (1992). Summated Rating Scale Construction. An Introduction. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone, A. (1997). Measurement of affective response. In Measuring Stress. A Guide for Health and Social Scientists., ed. Cohen, S., Kessler, R. C. and Gordon, L. U.. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Stone, A. A. and Shiffman, S. (1994). Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) in behavioral medicine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 16, 199–202.Google Scholar
Stone, A. A., Kessler, R. C. and Haythornthwaite, J. A. (1991). Measuring daily events and experiences: decisions for the researcher. Journal of Personality, 59, 575–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone, A. A., Schwarz, J. E., Neale, J. al. (1998). How accurate are current coping assessments? A comparison of momentary versus end of the day coping efforts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1670–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone, A. A., Shiffman, S. S. and DeVries, M. (1999). Ecological momentary assessment. In Understanding Quality of Life: Scientific Perspectives in Enjoyment and Suffering, ed. Kahneman, E. D. and Schwartz, N.. New York: Russell Sage, pp. 26–39.Google Scholar
Trochim, W. (2000). The Research Methods Knowledge Base. 2nd edn. Cincinnati, OH: Atomic Dog.Google Scholar
Eck, M. and Nicholson, N. (1994). Perceived stress and salivary cortisol in daily life. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 16, 221–7.Google Scholar
Verbrugge, L. (1980). Health Diaries. Medical Care, 19(73–95).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson, D., Clark, L. and Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measure of positive and negative affect: The PNAS Scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson, D. and Vaidya, J. (2003). Mood measurement: current status and future directions. In Handbook of Psychology, Volume 2, Research Methods in Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
Weller, S. C. and Romney, A. K. (1988). Systematic Data Collection. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wheeler, L. and Reis, H. T. (1991). Self-recording of everyday life events: Origins, types and uses. Journal of Personality, 59, 339–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats