Assessment of Perceived Stress Among School-Age Children: Relations with Emotional Engagement and Literacy Achievement

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This short-term longitudinal quantitative study is the first to examine the psychometric properties of the PSS-10 among elementary-age students and the impact of stress on school-related outcomes, including emotional engagement and literacy achievement. Participants included upper elementary students (N = 396, Mage = 9.62; 55% female; 56% dual language learners; 6% Asian, 12% Black, 28% Latino/a, and 40% White students). Emotional engagement was assessed using self- and teacher-reported questionnaires. Literacy achievement was assessed using a literacy performance task. A CFA revealed a two-factor structure for the PSS-10, including a coping factor and distress factor. The PSS-10 had adequate internal consistency but did not demonstrate adequate test-retest reliability between time points two to four months apart. Path analyses revealed that the coping factor was a significant predictor of later literacy achievement. The distress factor predicted later emotional engagement when the coping factor was removed from the model.