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Affective stress responses during leisure time: Validity evaluation of a modified version of the Stress-Energy Questionnaire

Journal article
Authors Emina Hadzibajramovic
Gunnar Ahlborg
C. Hakanson
Åsa Lundgren Nilsson
Anna Grimby-Ekman
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volume 43
Issue 8
Pages 825-832
ISSN 1403-4948
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Metrics
Pages 825-832
Language en
Keywords Cut-off points, leisure time, non-work stress, Rasch analysis, Stress-Energy Questionnaire, validation, rasch measurement model, health, workers, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Subject categories Environmental Health and Occupational Health


Background: Psychosocial stress at work is one of the most important factors behind increasing sick-leave rates. In addition to work stressors, it is important to account for non-work-related stressors when assessing stress responses. In this study, a modified version of the Stress-Energy Questionnaire (SEQ), the SEQ during leisure time (SEQ-LT) was introduced for assessing the affective stress response during leisure time. The aim of this study was to investigate the internal construct validity of the SEQ-LT. A second aim was to define the cut-off points for the scales, which could indicate high and low levels of leisure-time stress and energy, respectively. Methods: Internal construct validity of the SEQ-LT was evaluated using a Rasch analysis. We examined the unidimensionality and other psychometric properties of the scale by the fit to the Rasch model. A criterion-based approach was used for classification into high and low stress/energy levels. Results: The psychometric properties of the stress and energy scales of the SEQ-LT were satisfactory, having accommodated for local dependency. The cut-off point for low stress was proposed to be in the interval between 2.45 and 3.02 on the Rasch metric score; while for high stress, it was between 3.65 and 3.90. The suggested cut-off points for the low and high energy levels were values between 1.73-1.97 and 2.66-3.08, respectively. Conclusions: The stress and energy scale of the SEQ-LT satisfied the measurement criteria defined by the Rasch analysis and it provided a useful tool for non-work-related assessment of stress responses. We provide guidelines on how to interpret the scale values.

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