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Open Access Open Badges Research article

A Japanese version of the Perceived Stress Scale: cross-cultural translation and equivalence assessment

Chizu Mimura12 and Peter Griffiths3*

Author Affiliations

1 Visiting Research Associate, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, UK

2 5th Floor Housei Dai-ichi Building, 1-20-10 Sigamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan

3 National Nursing Research Unit, King's College London, James Clerk Maxwell building, Waterloo Road, London, UK

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BMC Psychiatry 2008, 8:85  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-8-85

Published: 30 September 2008



This paper describes the development of a Japanese version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and examines the equivalence between the original and translated version. The PSS is one of the few instruments to measure a global level of perceived stress, and has been widely used in a range of clinical and research settings. The PSS has already been translated into several languages, but there is no validated Japanese version.


A forward-backward procedure was implemented. Multiple forward and backward translations were produced, and a panel of reviewers verified conceptual and semantic equivalence between the source and final versions. Non-professional translators who were not brought up in bilingual families were used in order to enhance representativeness of language in the target populations. The PSS was administered to 222 native English speakers and the Japanese version (PSS-J) to 1320 native Japanese speakers.


Factor analysis showed similar factor loadings of the items and satisfactory factorial agreement between the PSS and PSS-J. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was high for both versions and for each factor.


It is concluded that the PSS and PSS-J are substantially equivalent and suited for use in comparative cross-cultural studies.