This study tested the psychometric properties of a questionnaire that measured sources of distress and eustress, or good stress, in nursing students. The Transactional model of stress construes stress in these different ways and is frequently used to understand sources of stress, coping and stress responses. Limited research has attempted to measure sources of distress and eustress or sources that can potentially enhance performance and well-being. A volunteer sample of final year nursing students (n = 120) was surveyed in the United Kingdom in 2007. The questionnaire measured sources of stress and measures of psychological well-being were taken to test construct validity. This was tested through an exploratory factor analysis. This reduced the questionnaire from 49 to 29 items and suggested three factors: learning and teaching, placement related and course organization; second, it was analysed by testing the assumptions of the Transactional model, the model on which the questionnaire was based. In line with the assumptions of the model, measures of distress related to adverse well-being, and measures of eustress related to healthier well-being responses. The test–retest reliability estimate was 0.8. While certain programme issues were associated with distress, placement-related experiences were the most important source of eustress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas