Economic/Financial Strain, Stress, and Distress
Measures of economic or financial strain, stress, or distress capture the stressful feelings about one’s financial situation.
Prawitz A, Garman ET, Sorhaindo B, et al. The InCharge financial distress/financial well-being scale: Development, administration, and score interpretation. Financial Counseling and Planning. 2006;17:34–50.
This is one item from the eight-item InCharge Financial Distress/Financial Well-Being (IFDFW) Scale. Cronbach’s alpha for the IFDFW = 0.956; Factor loading for this item = .91.
What do you feel is the level of your financial stress today?
(response options range from 1 [overwhelming stress] to 10 [no stress at all])*
*Response options that the Tucker-Seeley Research Lab included in the Money-Health Connection survey were: Overwhelming stress, Above average stress, Average stress, Some stress, No stress at all.
Shapiro GK, Burchell BJ. Measuring financial anxiety. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012;5(2):92.
Cronbach’s alpha = 0.809
Financial Anxiety Scale (FAS):
|Very true||Somewhat true||Somewhat untrue||Completely untrue|
|I find monitoring my bank or credit accounts very boring||o||o||o||o|
|I prefer not to think about the state of my personal finances||o||o||o||o|
|Thinking about my personal finances can make me feel guilty||o||o||o||o|
|There’s little point in saving money and being careful with it, because you could lose it all through no fault of your own||o||o||o||o|
|Thinking about my personal finances can make me feel anxious||o||o||o||o|
|I get myself into situations where I do not know where I’m going to get the money to “bail” myself out||o||o||o||o|
|Discussing my finances can make my heart race or make me feel stressed||o||o||o||o|
|I do not make a big enough effort to understand my finances||o||o||o||o|
|I find looking at my bank statements unpleasant||o||o||o||o|
|I would rather someone else who I trusted kept my finances organized||o||o||o||o|
Norvilitis JM, Szablicki PB, Wilson SD. Factors influencing levels of credit-card debt in college students. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 2003;33(5):935-947.
Cronbach’s alpha = 0.74
|Strongly disagree||Disagree||Neither disagree nor agree||Agree||Strongly agree|
|I am uncomfortable with the amount of debt I am in||o||o||o||o||o|
|I worry about repaying my student loans||o||o||o||o||o|
|I worry about repaying my credit cards||o||o||o||o||o|
|I think I am in good financial shape||o||o||o||o||o|
|I think a lot about the debt I am in||o||o||o||o||o|
|I have had arguments with others (parents, friends, significant others) about my level of spending||o||o||o||o||o|
|Five years from now, I will not be in credit card debt||o||o||o||o||o|
|One year from now, I will not be in credit card debt||o||o||o||o||o|
Creed PA, Klisch J. Future outlook and financial strain: Testing the personal agency and latent deprivation models of unemployment and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. 2005;10(3):251-260.
Cronbach’s alpha = 0.92
|Strongly agree||Agree||Somewhat agree||Neither agree nor disagree||Somewhat agree||Disagree||Strongly disagree|
|My income usually allows me to socialize as often as I like||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|My income rarely allows me to socialize as often as I like||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|I often have enough money to buy treats for myself||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|I rarely have enough money to buy treats for myself||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|My income usually allows me to do the things I want||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|My income rarely allows me to do the things I want||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|My income doesn't restrict me from living as well as my friends||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|My income restricts me from living as well as my friends||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|From the income I receive I often have money left for savings||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|From the income I receive I rarely have money left for savings||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|My level of income usually allows me to make plans for the future||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
|My level of income rarely allows me to make plans for the future||o||o||o||o||o||o||o|
Pearlin LI, Schooler C. The structure of coping. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 1978;19:2-21.
Principal component analysis with varimax rotation, item loadings shown in brackets: (1) Worried [.85]; (2) Bothered or upset [.85]; (3) Unhappy [.84]; (4) Tense [.84]; (5) Frustrated [.84]; (6) Insecure [.81]; (7) Relaxed [-.70]; (8) Contented [-.69].
When you think of your current financial situation, how do you feel?
|Not at all||A little||Somewhat||Very|
|Bothered or upset||o||o||o||o|