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Stress-symptoms and well-being in children and adolescents

The present cross-cultural study examined the factor structure, measurement invariance, and convergent validity of the Stress-Symptom and Well-Being Scales from the Stress and Coping Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (SSKJ), originally in German, across gender and for five newly developed language versions: English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.

Das Cover des Journals Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
  • Design: Children and adolescents (N = 5,227) from Germany, France, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine, and several English-speaking countries participated in the survey study.
  • Main outcome measures: The SSKJ Stress-Symptom and Well-Being Scales capture stress symptomatology and well-being with five subscales: Somatic Symptoms, Anger, Sadness, Anxiety, and Well-Being. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used for validation.
  • Results: The factorial structure (five factors) was confirmed. In multi-group comparisons, confirmatory factor analyses showed partial metric invariance across the different languages. Regarding gender, results showed scalar invariance for all languages, except for Spanish. Gender differences were shown with girls scoring higher on somatic symptoms, sadness, anxiety (German-, French-, Russian-speaking samples), anger (French), and well-being (German, Ukrainian). Correlations with indicators of mental health and behavioral problems demonstrated convergent validity.
  • Conclusion: The SSKJ Stress-Symptom and Well-Being Scales showed psychometric evidence for equivalence across the different languages and gender. Thus, this instrument is a useful tool for cross-cultural research in children and adolescents.

Vera Gillé, Denise Kerkhoff, Uwe Heim-Dreger, Carl-Walter Kohlmann, Arnold Lohaus & Heike Eschenbeck (2021) Stress-symptoms and well-being in children and adolescents: factor structure, measurement invariance, and validity of English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian language versions of the SSKJ scales, Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 9:1, 875-894, DOI: 10.1080/21642850.2021.1990062