Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Previous researchers employing objective measures of life stress such as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale have demonstrated an association between life change and illness onset. More recently, because of their apparently superior predictive validity, individualized ratings of stressfullness of life events have been employed. The psychological contributors to perception of life events, as well as psychological correlates to the level of experienced stress, are basically unexplored.

The present study investigated the association of perceived stress and experienced stress with the psychological constructs measured by: the Repression-Sensitization Scale, the Adult Nowicki-Strickland Scale, the Hidden Figures Test, and the Mood Adjective Checklist. One hundred ten undergraduate subjects completed a modified College Schedule of Recent Experiences along with the above measures. Results show that Repression-Sensitization and Hidden Figures are correlated with perceived stress. In addition, the amount of stress that subjects have experienced in their lifetimes is correlated with Repression- Sensitization and Hidden Figures. That is, sensitizers and field dependent subjects tend to perceive life events as more stressful, and have experienced more life changes. In the present sample, demographic variables were not related to perceived life stress, and only age was correlated with experienced life stress. Experienced stress as measured by the individualized scoring method was significantly higher than experienced stress as measured by the objective scoring method. implications of these findings, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.