Perceived stress

Background: This survey utilized the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), a widely used instrument for measuring perception of stress. It is a measure of the degree to which situations in one's life are considered by the participant to be stressful. Perception of stress differs from actual stress, in that two farmers could have very similar experiences, but one farmer interprets the experiences as highly stressful, while the other interprets the experiences as low stress. Perception of stress is critical because the body’s physical response to stress (and the associated physical problems of chronic stress) is strongly influenced by perception. PSS scores are not diagnostic but are helpful for gaining insight into perceived level of occupational stress. The scale results showed:

  • 11.9% of producers reported low stress (scores 1 to 13),
  • 81.3% reported moderate stress (scores 14 to 26), and
  • 6.8% reported high stress (scores 27 to 40). 
  • The mean average level of stress was medium (18.97)


B. Freeman, L. Chichester, A. Osborne, M. Minter, B. Gorsakul 2022, Agricultural Producer Stress: A Nevada Statewide Study, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-22-01

Learn more about the author(s)


Also of Interest:

Keys of Successful Parenting: Care for Self
This fact sheet provides several positive and negative ways to cope with stress for oneself and family members.
Brown, R. and Killian, E. 2004, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-04-41
NDR1 and the Arabidopsis plasma membrane ATPase AHA5 are required for processes that converge on drought tolerance and immunity. Lu, Y, Chen, H, Corrion, A, Buyuk, I, Li, P, Samaradivakara, S, Wai, CM, Sakamoto, H, Santos, P, VanBuren, R, Kim, Y, Day, B 2021, bioRxiv 2021.06. 10.445978
Perceived stress, stressors, and preferred stress management strategies among western agricultural producers Grocke-Dewey, M., Brennan, A., Freeman, B., Weas, H., Gutheil, J., Stallones, L., & McMoran, D. 2023, Journal of Rural Mental Health, 47(3), 152–162