Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Internal Consistency of the Student-Life Stress Inventory

Article excerpt

The validity and reliability of the Student-life Stress Inventory, SSI, was studied by analyzing the responses made to it by 381 students who were enrolled in classes at a state university. The confirmatory factor analyses and the analysis of variance were used to compute the validity. The internal consistency was used to determine the SSI's reliability. Previously, no factor analysis was computed on the SSI. However, on the other data, the findings concurred with those previously reported, confirming the reliability of the SSI. The confirmatory factor analyses buttressed the notion that the SSI is a valid measurement instrument in determining college students' stressors, reactions to stressors, and their overall stress index.

The Student-Life Stress Inventory, SSI, (Gadzella, 1991) is an instrument designed to study college students' stressors and their reactions to stressors. The inventory is a self-report, paper and pencil questionnaire consisting of 51 items listed under nine categories. It is based on a theoretical model described by Morris (1990). The model focuses on five types (categories) of stressors (Frustrations, Conflicts, Pressures, Changes, and Self-imposed) and four types (sections) of reactions to stressors (Physiological, Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Appraisal)(*){1}.

Numerous studies have been conducted using the SSI. Some of these studies reported the validity and reliability of this inventory. For instance, concurrent validities for the SSI were reported in 1993 (Gadzella & Guthrie) for 87 students' responses and in 1994 (Gadzella) for 290 students' responses. In each study, students' perceptions of their stress levels (mild, moderate, or severe) and their responses to the items in the SSI were analyzed using analyses of variance. Results showed significant differences among the students' stress levels on the nine categories, the two sections (Stressors, and Reactions to Stressors), and the total stress score.

In 1998, Gadzella, Masten, and Stacks reported significant correlations between the SSI scores and the scores in three other instruments: Inventory of Learning Processes (Schmeck, Ribich, & Ramanaiah, 1977); Test Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1980); and Internality, Powerful Others, and Chance Locus of Control (Leverson, 1981). In these studies, Pearson product-moment correlations showed some significant positive and negative correlations between the scores.

Other studies reported the reliability of the SSI. For instance, in 1991, Gadzella, Fullwood, and Ginther computed the internal consistency coefficients for each of the nine categories and the total inventory values of the SSI for 95 students on 3-week test-retest responses. The correlations for the test-retest responses ranged from .57 (Cognitive Appraisal, a reaction to stressors) to .76 (Emotional, a reaction to stressors). In another study (Gadzella & Guthrie, 1993), Pearson product-moment correlations were computed for 87 students on 3-week test-retest responses. The correlations for the whole inventory were .78 for the total group, .92 for the men, and .72 for the women.

Other studies using the SSI (Gadzella, 1994; Gadzella & Fullwood, 1992; Gadzella, Fullwood, & Tomcala, 1992; Gadzella, Ginther, & Fullwood, 1993) reported differences and patterns between groups (e.g., gender, college status, stress levels, and age). Various statistical methods were used in these studies: analysis of variance (ANOVA), t-tests, Pearson product-moment correlations, and the internal consistencies. The use of above-mentioned statistical methods in analyzing research data concurs with the findings reported by Hoyle (1994). He summarized the most frequently used statistical procedures, in a 20-years period, in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, JCCP. Hoyle reported that in the years 1972, 1982, and 1992, published research used primarily statistical methods such as: ANOVA, t-tests, and correlations. …