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Best practices for stress measurement: How to measure psychological stress in health research


Despite the strong evidence linking psychological stress to disease risk, health researchers often fail to include psychological stress in models of health. One reason for this is the incorrect perception that the construct of psychological stress is too vague and broad to accurately measure. This article describes best practices in stress measurement, detailing which dimensions of stressor exposures and stress responses to capture, and how. We describe when to use psychological versus physiological indicators of stress. It is crucial that researchers across disciplines utilize the latest methods for measuring and describing psychological stress in order to build a cumulative science.

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