Scholarly article on topic 'Psychometric properties of the Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire among adolescents at five secondary schools'

Psychometric properties of the Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire among adolescents at five secondary schools Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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{Adolescents / "Psychometric properties" / Stressors / "Secondary school students" / 3SQ / الضغوطات / المراهقين / "طلبة المدارس الثانوية" / "استبانة ضغوطات المدارس الثانوية" / "خصائص القياسات النفسية"}

Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Muhamad Saiful Bahri Yusoff

Abstract Objective This study aimed to evaluate the construct, convergent, and discriminant validity of the Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire (3SQ) as well as its internal consistency among adolescents in Malaysian secondary schools. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on 700 secondary school students in five secondary schools. Stratified random sampling was used to select schools and participants. The confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine its construct, convergent, and discriminant validity. The reliability analysis was performed to determine its internal consistency. Result The results showed that the original six-factor model with 44 items failed to achieve acceptable values of the goodness of fit indices, indicating poor model fit. A new five-factor model of 3SQ with 22 items demonstrated acceptable level of goodness of fit indices to signify a model fit. The overall Cronbach's alpha value for the new version 3SQ was 0.93, while the five constructs ranged from 0.68 to 0.94. The composite reliability values of each construct ranged between 0.68 and 0.93, indicating satisfactory to high level of convergent validity. Conclusion The construct validity of the original version of 3SQ was not supported. We found the new version 3SQ showed more convincing evidence of validity and reliability to measure stressors of adolescents. Continued research is required to verify and maximize the psychometric credentials of 3SQ across institutions and nationalities.

Academic research paper on topic "Psychometric properties of the Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire among adolescents at five secondary schools"

Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences (2014) ■(■), 1 — 10

Taibah University Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences

www.sciencedirect.com

Educational Article

Psychometric properties of the Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire among adolescents at five secondary schools

Muhamad Saiful Bahri Yusoff, PhD

Medical Education Department, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia

Received 16 April 2014; revised 7 September 2014; accepted 10 September 2014 Available online ■ ■ ■

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Corresponding address: Senior Lecturer, Medical Education Department, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia.

E-mail: msaiful_bahri@usm.my Peer review under responsibility of Taibah University.

Production and hosting by Elsevier

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Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the construct, convergent, and discriminant validity of the Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire (3SQ) as well as its internal consistency among adolescents in Malaysian secondary schools.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 700 secondary school students in five secondary schools. Stratified random sampling was used to select schools and participants. The confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine its construct, convergent, and discriminant validity. The reliability analysis was performed to determine its internal consistency.

Result: The results showed that the original six-factor model with 44 items failed to achieve acceptable values of the goodness of fit indices, indicating poor model fit. A new five-factor model of 3SQ with 22 items demonstrated acceptable level of goodness of fit indices to signify a model fit. The overall Cronbach's alpha value for the new version 3SQ was 0.93, while the five constructs ranged from 0.68 to 0.94. The composite reliability values of each construct ranged between 0.68 and 0.93, indicating satisfactory to high level of convergent validity.

Conclusion: The construct validity of the original version of 3SQ was not supported. We found the new version 3SQ showed more convincing evidence of validity and reliability to measure stressors of adolescents. Continued research is required to verify and maximize the

1658-3612 © 2014 Taibah University.

Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/jjtumed.2014.09.005_

psychometric credentials of 3SQ across institutions and nationalities.

Keywords: Adolescents; Psychometric properties; Stressors; Secondary school students; 3SQ

© 2014 Taibah University.

Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Introduction

In the growing up process, adolescents experience stress and these experiences are precious as they may promote the positive psychological development, and thus augment overall mental health development. Schultz suggested that youthful stress evolves out of child-perceived threats to his or her security, self-esteem, way of life or safety.1 These demands may be physical, physiological, or psychological,2 or a mixture of these. Children as young as 6 years old are aware of psychological pressure in their lives.3 Although they are exposed to significant levels of stress, children may lack of experience and maturity to recognize stress, and ability to cope effectively with it.4 Several researchers have highlighted that the existence of stress can be utilized fruitfully to build higher levels of future resiliency towards psychological distress.5 D'Aurora and Fimian stated that restricted and controllable levels of stress provide challenges and an enthusiasm for living.6 Unfortunately, the prevalence of psychological distress among adolescents is high, for examples the reported prevalence of psychological distress among Canadian adolescents was 27%,7 among US adolescents was 17.7%— 18.4%,8 among Indian adolescents ranged from 2.6% to 35.6%,9 among United Arab Emirates adolescents was 22.2%, 0 among Saudi Arabian adolescents was 35.5%11 and among Malaysian adolescents was over 26%. The prevalence was higher than the reported figure of general population which was less than 18.8% in between 2000 and 2001.15,16 In addition to that, it was reported that about 10.2% of girls and 7.5% of boys having considered suicide without having attempted, while 3.6% of all adolescents reported suicide attempts.8 It should be reminded that poor mental health during this period has been linked to mental health problems in adulthood.17,18 Therefore, mental health plays a vital role to determine the overall wellbeing.19 World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that mental problems will be the second contributor to the burden of diseases In 2020.20 WHO expected that the figure of mental health problems among adolescents population will be as high as 20%. Studies have shown that excessive and chronic exposure to psychological pressure may lead to many unwanted consequences either at personal or professional level.21 Reflecting on this situation, it is impractical for schools to intervene individually for every distressed adolescent. Therefore, early identification of stressors that may put them at risk for developing undesirable consequences is essential. Among the major stressor reported by the previous surveys seem to be linked with academic matters.12—14 In fact, students who perceived academic as causing moderate to high

stress were at 16 time higher risk to develop psychological distress than those who perceived academic as causing nil to mild stress.13 These facts suggest that there is a growing of psychological pressure on adolescents in the school. Thus, there is a crucial need for schools to identify sources of stress among adolescents so that early intervention could be done. Among the existing psychological health instruments, the Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire (3SQ) is a new and promising screening tool to screen potential sources of stress among adolescents. Unfortunately, to the author knowledge, only one study22 reported its validity and reliability despite its potential. The 3SQ was found to be valid based on exploratory factor analysis that is not sufficient to support its validity, reliable as its Cronbach's alpha value was 0.90, simple, consumes less time and easy to be answered.22 From that notion, further research with more robust statistical method is necessary to verify its validity and reliability as well as to optimize its role and usefulness as a screening tool for potential stressors specifically for adolescents in secondary schools.

In general, validity refers the capability of an evaluation tool to measure outcomes that it planned to evaluate,23—26 whereas reliability refers to the extent of reproducibility or consistency of a measurement at different time and occasions.25 Reliability can be estimated by internal consistency and stability.25 The internal consistency of an evaluation tool is evaluated by a single administration while the stability is evaluated by multiple administrations at different intervals.25 Validity can be appraised by content (i.e. content validity), construct (construct validity), relations with other variables (i.e. predictive validity and discriminant validity) and criterion (i.e. convergent and divergent validity).23,25,26 Content validity is achieved when an evaluation tool has sufficient items and adequately covers on relevant attributes to be measured based on a blueprint.23,25,26 Construct validity is achieved when an evaluation tool able to make a distinction between different constructs of attributes.25—28 An evaluation tool is considered to have convergent validity when it shows a relationship with other evaluation tools that measure similar attributes.23—26 Divergent validity is considered when an evaluation tool does not show a relationship with other evaluation tools that measure different attributes.23,25,26 Discriminant validity is described as the ability of an evaluation tool to distinguish between those people who have obvious trait and those who do not.25 It is noteworthy that reliability and validity are essential qualities that an evaluation tool must be evaluated to ensure psychometrically credible.25,29

This study aimed to evaluate the construct, convergent, and discriminant validity of the 3SQ as well as to evaluate its internal consistency among adolescents in Malaysian secondary schools. This study aimed to answer 4 questions which include: 1) Do the 3SQ's constructs fit to data? 2) Do items measuring similar constructs strongly converged on each other? 3) Do items measuring different construct diverged from each other? And 4) Do the 3SQ's items demonstrate high level of internal consistency?

Materials and Method

A cross-sectional study was conducted on secondary school students in the 2010 academic session at five secondary

3SQ's Psychometric properties

schools in a state of Malaysia. The schools' curriculum follow the Malaysian National Curriculum for Secondary School (KBSM) where students are grouped into form 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 based on their age: basically those who at age of 13, 14, 15,16 and 17 are in the form 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Thus the expected age of the study population ranged between 13 and 17. They are studying similar core subjects with some additional elective subjects based on the type of school (i.e. national, technical, boarding and religious). However the total number of subjects is similar for every student.

Sample size was calculated based on recommended ratio of 10 subjects per item30 which was 440. The adjusted sample size after 30% dropout rate was 630. The researchers decided to recruit 700 study samples after consideration of 10% missing data or incomplete response.

Stratified random sampling (i.e. based on types of school) was used to select schools and participants. Data collection

was done between January and June 2010. The inclusion criteria was students who able to read and write. The exclusion criteria were students who absent and did not attend class during data collection, those who enrolled in special class and unable to read or write. The researchers obtained an ethical approval from the Ethical Committee of Universiti Sains Malaysia and Malaysian Ministry of Education prior to the study. An informed consent form was filled up by the participants' parent prior to the study.

The Secondary School Stressor Questionnaire (3SQ) is a valid and reliable instrument used to identify stressors of secondary school students.22 3SQ consists of 44 possible sources of stress and categories the sources of stress into academic related stressors (ARS), intrapersonal related stressors (IntraRS), interpersonal related stressors (InterRS), learning and teaching related stressors (LTRS), teacher related stressors (TRS) and group social related

Table 1: The domain and item in the 3SQ.

Domain Items Item no. Total item

Academic related stressor (ARS) Examination Q1

Getting behind revision schedule Q2

Too many learning content Q3

Difficult to understand learning content Q4

Get poor mark Q5 10

Test too frequent Q6

Lack of time to do revision Q7

Competitive learning environment Q9

Unfair assessment grading system Q16

Learning schedule too packed Q17

Interpersonal related stressor (InterRS) Lot of assignment Q11

Inappropriate assignment Q22

Conflict with peers Q25

Verbal/physical abuse from friends Q27

Verbal/physical abuse from teachers Q28

Verbal/physical abuse from family Q29

Conflict with family Q30 12

Conflict with teachers Q31

Unwillingness to school Q32

Family desire to stop schooling Q38

Interruptions by others during study Q39

Crowded classroom Q41

Intrapersonal related stressor (IntraRS) High self expectation Q8

High expectation from other person Q14

Feel incompetence Q15

Talking about personal problem Q23 7

Afraid not getting place in university Q24

Study for the family's sake Q40

Self negative thinking Q42

Learning teaching related stressor (LTRS) Lack of motivation learn Q26

Lack of guidance from teacher Q34

Lack of feedback from teacher Q35 6

Uncertainty of what are expected Q36

Lack of recognition of work Q37

Giving wrong answer in class Q44

Teacher related stressor (TRS) Unable to answer the question Q10

Lack of teaching skills Q19 3

lack of reading material Q20

Group-social related stressor (GSRS) Participant in group discussion Q12

Participant in class presentation Q13

Lack of time with family and friends Q18 6

Answering friend's question Q21

Family desire to continue schooling Q33

Late to school Q43

M.S.B. Yusoff

stressors (GSRS) (Table 1).22 The Cronbach's alpha values of the 3SQ domains ranged from 0.58 to 0.90 22 It is a self-reporting questionnaire and originally developed in Malay language (Appendix 1). Respondents rated each source of stress based on five Likert-scale: '0 = causing no stress at all', '1 = causing mild stress', '2 = causing moderate stress', '3 = causing high stress' and '4 = causing severe stress'.

Statistical analysis

The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and reliability analysis were performed to evaluate psychometric properties based on the goodness of fit indices. On preliminary data screening, cases with incomplete response were removed from data. Further assessment of normality and outlier was performed based on critical ratio (i.e. for skewness and kurtosis to their standard error), and Mahalanobis distance. Critical ratio less than 3 was considered indicative of uni-variate normality. Mahalanobis distance was used to detect outliers, so if there is evidence of unusual observations were treated as outliers and they were deleted from the analysis.

Model chi-square goodness of fit and approximate fit indexes were used to check the measurement model fit with the data.31 Insignificant model chi-square goodness-of-fit (set at 0.05) and a relative chi-square (Cmin/df) value less than 5 signify model fit.32 For approximate fit indexes, goodness of fit index (GFI), normed fit index (NFI), relative fit index (RFI), incremental fit index (IFI), Tucker—Lewis fit index (TFI) and comparative fit index (CFI) of more than 0.9 signify

28 31 32

model fit.28,31,32 Other approximate fit indexes, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) and standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) of lower than 0.08 signify acceptable model fit.27,33 Construct validity was achieved if the goodness of fit indices signifies model fit.

Standardized regression weighted (i.e. standardized loading factor) estimates signify that the observed variables (i.e. items) are representative of their latent variables (i.e. constructs).33 The correlations between variables and chi-square values reduction should these correlations added to the model are reflected by modification indices (MI).33 The estimation of a standard normal distribution if the model is correct was reflected by standardized residual covariance (SRC). Therefore, observed variables should have an SRC value of less than 2 to signify the model is correct.33,34 So, MI, SRC and standardized regression weighted were taken as indicators to select which observed variables fit to be retained in the model.33 Though MI, SRC and standardized regression weighted as indicators to improve model fir, removal of observed variables should be based

28,31,32

on theoretical basis or literature review.28,31,32

Internal consistency was determined by reliability analysis using SPSS and reflected by Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Cronbach's alpha values in between 0.7 and 0.9 was considered as high internal consistency and in between 0.6 and 0.7 was considered as satisfactory internal consistency.25

Assessment of construct validity involved assessment of convergent validity and discriminant validity. Convergent validity was checked with size of factor loading, average variance extracted (AVE) and composite reliability (CR). Item factor loading values should be reasonably high (which are 0.5 or more) to respective constructs to signify

convergent validity.35 The authors calculated AVE and CR manually following the formulas recommended by Fornell & Larcker (1981) and Hair et al. (2009). A value of 0.5 or more for AVE, and 0.6 or more for CR32,35 was considered as indicators to signify convergent validity.35,36 Discriminant validity of a construct was tested by comparing its AVE and shared variance (SV) values. SV is given as the square of correlation between two constructs. Constructs achieved acceptable level of discriminant validity when their AVE were higher than SV.36 A correlation of more than 0.85 between constructs was considered as an indicator of poor discriminant validity.33

Result

A total of 694 (99.1%) students responded to the 3SQ. Out of that, 498 (71.8%) of the observed data were included in the analysis after deletion of data with incomplete responses or outliers. The participants' demographic profile was summarized in Table 2. In general, majority were female, Malay, Muslim and form 5 students with average age of 16 years.

The CFA showed that the one-factor model with 44 items was not a model fit, indicating 3SQ has multiple constructs. The results showed that the original six-factor model with 44 items failed to achieve acceptable values of the goodness of fit indices, suggesting poor model fit (Table 3). Stepwise removal of items was performed based on modification indices, standardized residual covariance and standardized regression weighted to improve the model fit. The model fit was achieved after removal of 22 items and one construct that result in the five-factor model with 22 items as shown in Table 3. All the goodness of fit indices was achieved to signify model fitness of the five-factor model. The final model of 3SQ was illustrated in Figure 1.

The reliability analysis (Table 4) confirmed that the final model showed high level of internal consistency as the overall Cronbach's alpha was more than 0.7. The Cronbach's alpha of the 3SQ's constructs ranged between 0.67 and 0.94, suggesting satisfactory to high internal consistency.

The composite reliability values of the 3SQ's constructs ranged between 0.68 and 0.93, indicating satisfactory to high

Table 2: Demographic profile of respondents.

Variables N = 498

Gender, n (%) Male 208 (41.8)

Female 298 (58.2)

Ethnic group, n (%) Malay 495 (99.4)

Non-Malay 3 (0.6)

Religion, n (%) Islam 494 (99.2)

Buddha 1 (0.2)

Christian 1 (0.2)

Others 2 (0.4)

School level, n (%) Form 1 26 (5.2)

Form 2 38 (7.6)

Form 3 57 (11.4)

Form 4 184 (36.9)

Form 5 193 (38.8)

Age, mean (min, max) 15.96 (13, 17)

3SQ's Psychometric properties 5

Table 3: The results of confirmatory factor analysis.

Variable X2 - statistic (df) p-Value Goodness of fit indices

Cmin/df RMSEA SRMR GFI CFI NFI RFI IFI TLI

One-factor modela Six-factor modela Five-factor modelb 5783.9 (903) 3930.3 (887) 517.5 (198) <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 6.41 4.43 2.61 0.104 0.083 0.057 0.097 0.105 0.053 0.502 0.689 0.910 0.623 0.765 0.952 0.584 0.717 0.924 0.564 0.698 0.912 0.624 0.766 0.952 0.605 0.749 0.943

a Based on the proposed construct by Yusoff (2011); 44 items. b Based on the final model; 22 items.

level of convergent validity (Table 4). In addition, all the standardized factor loading was more than 0.6 suggesting an adequate level of convergent validity.35 InterRS and LTRS constructs showed high level of discriminant validity as their AVE values more than 0.5 as well as more than their SV values with the other constructs. In contrast, ARS, IntraRS and GSRS demonstrated a low level of discriminant validity as their AVE values less than 0.5. On further analysis, IntraRS SV value with ARS and GSRS were 0.77 and 0.62 respectively which were higher than its AVE value (0.45) (Tables 4 and 5). This result suggested the IntraRS, ARS and GSRS have a low level of discriminant validity since their EVA values more than SV

values.36

Discussion

The prevalence of psychological distress among adoles-

12 13 19 37

cents is high,12,13,19,37 so it is unrealistic for secondary schools to intervene individually for every distress student. Therefore, early identification of the adolescents' stressors

that may put them on risk for developing undesirable consequences either at individual or professional levels is essential. From that notion, a simple, valid and reliable tool that screens common dimension of stressors will be useful to secondary schools. This article described evidence of validity of a promising tool to screen potential stressors among adolescents in secondary schools. The authors believe it has the potentials to be a valuable tool for secondary schools to detect degrees of stress caused by stressors as perceived by their students that may put them in the greatest risk to develop unfavorable consequences.21

The authors found that data did not support the original six-factor of 3SQ consisting of 44 items measuring the potential stressors among adolescents in secondary schools. The authors conducted further analysis as an attempt to propose a new version of 3SQ that met the requirement for a model fit. We found that one-factor model failed to achieve a model fit as all the goodness of fit indices did not meet the satisfactory values. This result indicated 3SQ measuring multiple constructs of stressors. We found that the five-factor model demonstrate a model fit as all the goodness of fit

Figure 1: Final model of 3SQ.

Table 4: The reliability analysis of the 22 items of the 3SQ based on the final model.

No Item Standardized factor loading bDomain aCronbach's alpha cAVE dCR

Q3 Too many learning content 0.67 ARS 0.89 0.48 0.89

Q4 Difficult to understand learning content 0.69

Q5 Get poor mark 0.68

Q6 Test too frequent 0.70

Q7 Lack of time to do revision 0.64

Q10 Unable to answer the question 0.70

Q11 Lot of assignment 0.76

Q16 Unfair assessment grading system 0.66

Q17 Learning schedule too packed 0.74

Q28 Verbal/physical abuse from teachers 0.80 InterRS 0.94 0.76 0.93

Q29 Verbal/physical abuse from family 0.84

Q30 Conflict with family 0.93

Q31 Conflict with teachers 0.91

Q9 Competitive learning environment 0.69 IntraRS 0.71 0.45 0.71

Q14 High expectation from other person 0.61

Q15 Feel incompetence 0.71

Q12 Participant in group discussion 0.69 GSRS 0.67 0.42 0.68

Q13 Participant in class presentation 0.65

Q21 Answering friend's question 0.60

Q34 Lack of guidance from teacher 0.90 LTRS 0.86 0.70 0.87

Q35 Lack of feedback from teacher 0.90

Q37 Lack of recognition of work 0.69

a Reliability analysis; Cronbach's Alpha Coefficient, overall Cronbach's alpha = b Domains were predetermined based on previous two studies. 0.93.

c AVE (Average Variance Extracted) was calculated manually based on formula given by Fornell & Larcker (1981).

AVE = = 1 ' l = standardized factor loading, n = number of item. d CR (Composite Reliability) was calculated based on formula given by Fornell & Larcker (1981).

fpn >0 2

CR = n =1 ^n—t~1 = standardized factor loading, 5 = error variance.

i=1>i)+(2^ i = 1°'>

indices met the requirements to signify model fit. Based on these finding, it appeared that after reallocation and removal of certain items (i.e., perhaps 'poorly represent' the constructs being measured), the construct validity of 3SQ was supported. The composite reliability and factor loading values of the five constructs were more than 0.6, indicating satisfactory level of convergent validity.32,35 Likewise, most of the standardized correlation values between the five constructs were less than 0.85, suggesting there were less items overlapping and at acceptable level of discriminant validity between the constructs.33 Even so, it appeared that the SV values of ARS, InterRS and GSRS were more than the AVE values, and their AVE values were less than 0.5. These findings indicated that the three constructs had poor level of discriminant validity.32,33,36 One possible reason might be due to repetition of items that measuring similar constructs. Apart from that, the 22 items removed during

CFA perhaps need to be revisited and revised because they might represent important and meaningful constructs of stressors for adolescents in secondary school. Overall, the new version of 3SQ showed favorable evidence of validity where it measured what it should measure.

In general our data supports high internal consistency for 3SQ as the overall Cronbach's alpha value was more than 0.7 25, which is similar with a previous study finding.22 Likewise, we found that four constructs (i.e. ARS, IntraRS, InterRS, LRTS) achieved Cronbach's alpha value more than 0.7 and one construct (i.e. GSRS) achieved more than 0.6 but less than 0.7, indicating satisfactory to very good level of internal consistency.25 These findings support the reliability of the new version 3SQ to measure stressors of adolescents in secondary schools.

Our study has several limitations that need to be considered for interpretation. Firstly; our sample was confined to a province in Malaysia that might not represent the Malaysian adolescent population distribution across secondary schools. Secondly; the respondents were mostly Malays which might limit the generalizability of the results into other ethnic groups. Our study however has several strengths that could be used to verify the authenticity of our data. Firstly; samples were selected across school levels that may be considered as representing adolescent population in different stages of secondary school. Secondly; the sample size was calculated based on the recommended ratio of subjects per item. Thirdly; authentic and rigorous analyses were applied in this study to evaluate the psychometric properties of the instrument. Lastly; the study subjects were selected from five

Table 5: The estimated shared variance between the five con-

structs based on the final model.

Variable SV (r2)a (N = 498)

InterRS IntraRS LTRS GSRS

ARS 0.29 0.77 0.38 0.40

InterRS 0.18 0.58 0.07

IntraRS 0.29 0.62

LTRS 0.17

a Analysis was done by AMOS version 19. SV = shared

variance.

3SQ's Psychometric properties

different secondary schools that were considered as a multi-centered data collection which may represent an accurate reflection of psychometric credentials of 3SQ. Based on these limitations and strengths, data reported in this study should be interpreted with caution and any attempt to generalize the findings should be performed within context.

Implication on 3SQ on future practice

A short, simple, less time consuming, valid and reliable tool that screens common dimensions of stressors experienced by adolescents and able to identify those who at the highest risk to develop serious consequences will be useful to schools and students. The author believes 3SQ has the potentials to be a valuable tool for schools in detecting stressors experienced by adolescents in schools that may put them at the greatest risk for developing serious consequences. As was echoed by Park and Adler, individual who were adopting active coping strategies may buffer the impact of newly encountered stressful situations (i.e. stressors) on physical health and psychological health.38 Therefore, early detection of stressors among adolescents and introducing a proper program to train the adolescents on adopting appropriate coping strategies to cope with the potential stressor will help them to improve their psychological health.39 It is worth highlighting that positive mental health during this period has been linked to less mental health problems in adulthood.17

Conclusion

Our study did not support the construct validity of the original version of 3SQ. We found the new version 3SQ showed more convincing evidence of validity and reliability to measure stressors of adolescents. Continued research is needed to verify and maximize the psychometric credentials of 3SQ across countries.

Conflict of interest

The author has no conflict of interest to declare. Acknowledgment

Deepest appreciation goes to the Ministry of Education Malaysia for allowing us to conduct this study. We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation towards the five chosen schools, Sekolah

Menengah Kebangsaan Melor (SMK Melor), Sekolah Menengah Teknik Pengkalan Chepa (SMTPC), Sekolah Menengah Sains Tengku Muhamad Faris Petra (SMSTMFP), Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Melor (SMKA Melor) and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kandis for assisting our research in their schools. Thank you to Amirah Hayati bt Ahmad@Hamid, Nadia Rabiyah bt Rosli, Nor Ayuni bt Zakaria, Nur Adila bt Che Rameli, and Nurul Shazwani bt Abdul Rahman for helping the author during data collection. Our deepest gratitude also goes to all the respondents for their time, cooperation and patience to complete the questionnaires administered to them. Last but not least, thank you to USM for providing us with fund through the short-term grant (304/PPSP/61310057)

Appendix 1

SOALSELIDIK STRESOR SEKOLAH MENENGAH (SSSM)

SECONDARY SCHOOL STRESSOR QUESTIONNAIRE (3SQ)

Pilih jawapan anda dengan berhati-hati dan yang paling benar/sesuai bagi diri anda. Sila jawab semuapernyataan yang disediakan dengan menandakan (O ) pada ruangan jawapan yang disediakan. Tiada jawapan yang benar atau salah, oleh itu pilih jawapan yang paling tepat untuk anda dan bukan apa yang anda rasa kebanyakan orang lain akan jawab atau fikirkan.

(Choose your answers carefully and which describe you the best. Please do answer all statements given by ticking (O) in the answer space provided. There is no right or wrong answers. Therefore please choose the answer which is most accurate for you and not which you think most people will choose.)

Pilih jawapan anda berdasarkan skala yang disediakan

0 = tidak menyebabkan sebarang tekanan/masalah langsung.

(tidak langsung)

[not causing any stress at all] (not at all)

1 = menyebabkan tekanan yang sedikit. (sedikit)

[causing low level of stress] (low)

2 = menyebabkan tekanan yang sederhana. (sederhana)

[causing moderate level of stress] (moderate)

3 = menyebabkan tekanan yang tinggi. (tinggi)

[causing high level of stress] (high)

4 = menyebabkan tekanan yang sangat tinggi. (sangat tinggi)

[causing very high level of stress] (very high)

No Items Adakah (Does it 0 ia menyebabkan anda tertekan? cause you to feel stressful?) 12 3 4

1 Peperiksaan

[Examination]

2 Ketinggalan dalam mengikuti jadual ulangkaji

[Getting behind revision schedule]

3 Terlalu banyak perkara yang perlu dipelajari

[Too many content to be learnt]

(continued on next page)

(con tinued )

No Items Adakah (Does it ia menyebabkan anda tertekan? cause you to feel stressful?)

0 1 2 3 4

4 Sukar untuk memahami matapelajaran [Difficulties in understanding content that have been learnt]

5 Mendapat markah yang rendah [Getting poor marks]

6 Ujian yang terlalu banyak/kerap [Tests are too frequent]

7 Kekurangan masa untuk membuat ulangkaji [Lack of time to do revision]

8 Harapan terhadap diri sendiri untuk lakukan yang terbaik [High self-expectation]

9 Keadaan pembelajaran yang penuh persaingan [Competitive learning environment]

10 Tidak dapat menjawab soalan yang diberikan oleh guru [Unable to answer questions from teachers]

11 Tugasan yang diberikan oleh guru terlalu banyak [Too many assignments given by teachers]

12 Penglibatan di dalam perbincangan secara berkumpulan [Participation in group dicussions]

13 Penglibatan di dalam pembentangan kelas [Participation in class presentation]

14 Harapan orang lain untuk lakukan yang terbaik [High expectation imposed by others]

15 Merasakan diri serba kekurangan [Feeling of incompetence]

16 Sistem permarkahan ujian/peperiksaan yang tidak telus [unfair assessment grading systems]

17 Jadual waktu pembelajaran yang terlalu padat [Learning schedule are too packed]

18 Kurang masa bersama keluarga dan rakan-rakan [Lack of free time with family and friends]

19 Guru kurang kemahiran mengajar [Teachers lack of teaching skills]

20 Kurang bahan-bahan bacaan [Insufficient reading material]

21 Menjawab soalan yang diberikan oleh rakan-rakan [Answering friends' questions]

22 Tugasan yang diberikan oleh guru tidak bersesuaian [Inappropriate assignments given by teachers]

23 Berbual dengan rakan-rakan tentang masalah peribadi [Talking personal problems with peers]

24 Kemungkinan gagal melanjutkan pelajaran ke universiti [Afraid of the possibility not getting place in any university]

25 Perselisihan faham dengan rakan-rakan sekolah [Conflict with peers]

26 Kurang motivasi untuk belajar [Lack of motivation to learn]

27 Penderaan secara verbal atau fizikal oleh rakan [Verbal or physical abuse done by peers]

28 Penderaan secara verbal atau fizikal oleh guru [Verbal or physical abuse done by teachers]

29 Penderaan secara verbal atau fizikal oleh keluarga [Verbal or physical abuse done by family]

30 Perselisihan faham dengan keluarga [Conflict with family]

31 Perselisihan faham dengan guru [Conflict with teachers]

32 Kehendak diri untuk berhenti sekolah [Unwillingness to go to school]

33 Kehendak keluarga untuk meneruskan persekolahan [Family desire to continue schooling]

34 Kurang mendapat bimbingan daripada guru [Lack of guidance and supervision from teachers]

3SQ's Psychometric properties 9

(continued )

No Items Adakah ia menyebabkan anda tertekan?

(Does it cause you to feel stressful?)

0 12 3 4

35 Kurang mendapat maklumbalas daripada guru [Lack of feedback from teachers]

36 Tidak jelas dengan apa yang diharapkan daripada saya [Uncertainty of what are expected from me]

37 Kerja-kerja yang telah disiapkan jarang dihargai [Lack of recognition to work done]

38 Kehendak keluarga untuk berhenti sekolah [Family desire to stop schooling]

39 Seri diganggu oleh orang lain ketika sedang belajar [Interruptions by others during learning]

40 Belajar demi memperbaiki nasib keluarga [Studying for the sake of family]

41 Keadaan kelas yang terlalu padat [Crowded classroom]

42 Berfikiran negatif terhadap diri sendiri [Negative thinking toward own-self]

43 Datang lewat ke sekolah [Came late to the school]

44 Memberi jawapan yang salah di dalam kelas [Giving wrong answer in the class]

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