Economic/Financial Strain, Stress, and Distress

Measures of economic or financial strain, stress, or distress capture the stressful feelings about one’s financial situation.   

Measure

Source:

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.   

Psychometric properties:

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.

Measure

Source:

Shapiro GK, Burchell BJ. Measuring financial anxiety. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012;5(2):92. 

Psychometric properties:

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

 

Measure

Source:

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. 

Psychometric properties:

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

 

Measure

Source:

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. 

Psychometric properties:

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

 

Measure

Source:

Pearlin LI, Schooler C. The structure of coping. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 1978;19:2-21.

Psychometric properties:

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
Worried o o o o
Bothered or upset o o o o
Tense o o o o
Unhappy o o o o
Frustrated o o o o
Insecure o o o o
Relaxed o o o o
Content o o o o