Hierarchy of Eustress and Distress: Rasch Calibration of the Valencia Eustress-Distress Appraisal Scale

Malgorzata Kozusznik, José María Peiró, Susana Lloret, Isabel Rodriguez


The purpose of the study was to uncover the hierarchy of eustress and distress appraisal and calibrate the Valencia Eustress Distress Appraisal Scale (VEDAS, Rodríguez, Kozusznik, & Peiró, 2013) using the Rasch Analysis (RA). A cross-sectional study was conducted on sample of 603 Spanish social service professionals. The VEDAS included four subscales addressing work demands that can be appraised as sources of eustress and distress. RA was carried out for eustress and distress appraisal scales. A graduation of stressful situations appraised as distress and/or as eustress was revealed. One of the greatest sources of distress and one of the lesser sources of eustress was “switching off at home”. Situations involving personal accountability were considered both most severe sources of distress and the most important source of eustress. Work-life interactions involving other persons outside work were considered least severe sources of distress and least important sources of eustress. The results empirically support previous theoretical considerations of the coexistence of eustress and distress appraisals of the same demands applying advances in measurement. Implications of the calibration of stress appraisal for theory and organizational practice as well as the benefits of applying RA in occupational psychology research are discussed.


Stress appraisal, eustress, distress, Rasch analysis, IRT

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