We have several products to meet your stress assessment needs. These methods are either computer based or interview based, and focus on either cumulative (i.e., lifetime) or recent (e.g., past 1-2 years) stress exposure. The products are summarized below, followed by more detailed information on each product. Need help finding the stress assessment product that best fits your needs? Contact us!

SystemTime WindowAdministrationSummary
Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS)Early adversity & past 1-2 yrsInterview-basedState-of-the-art measure, interview + rating team
Stress and Adversity Inventory (STRAIN)LifetimeComputer-basedAutomated cumulative life stress assessment program
Automated Stress Assessment Program (ASAP)Early adversity & past 1-2 yrsComputer-basedAutomated recent life stress assessment program
Stress Rating Interface (SRI)N/AComputer-basedAutomated life stress rating interface, for use w/ the LEDS


Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS)

The LEDS is a state-of-the-art instrument for assessing exposure to early adversity and to diverse types of recent life stress (e.g., over the past 1-2 years). This system uses a 1-2 hour semi-structured interview in which the interviewer carefully inquires about stressors in 10 domains of functioning (e.g., health, work, education, finances, relationships, etc.). Next, the interviewer presents the reported stressors to a panel of 2-3 raters who judge each stressor using a 520-page manual that outlines explicit rules and criteria for rating life stress. The manual also includes 5,000 case vignettes that are used as standardized anchors in the rating process. All ratings are made independently by each rater and are then finalized following a consensus discussion that considers extensive information about the stressor and the individual’s biographical circumstances. Raters are kept blind to participants’ clinical characteristics, as well as to their emotional response to the stressors (e.g., how often they cried), to prevent this information from influencing the life stress ratings. The LEDS system is thus most appropriate for investigators who require comprehensive, high-resolution information regarding participants’ exposure to early and recent life stress.

  • Time Window: Early adversity (i.e., before age 18) and recent life stress (i.e., past 1-2 years)
  • Administration: Interview-based
  • Time: Interview = 1-2 hours/subject; Ratings = 1-2 hours/subject; Administration = 3-5 hours/subject
  • Estimated Cost: Variable depending on study size and collaborative arrangement, please inquire


We have also developed several computer-based products that facilitate the accurate and reliable assessment of life stress. These products are based on gold-standard techniques for assessing stress.

Stress and Adversity Inventory (STRAIN)

The Stress and Adversity Inventory (STRAIN) is the most efficient and reliable way to assess exposure to acute and chronic life stress over the life course. The measure is entirely online and systematically inquires about a diverse array of acute life events (e.g., deaths of relatives, job losses, negative health events) and chronic difficulties (e.g., ongoing health problems, work problems, relationship problems, financial problems, etc.) that have implications for human health and wellbeing. Stressors occurring in early life (e.g., childhood maltreatment or neglect, parental loss/separation, etc.) are also queried. Participants are asked to rate the severity, frequency, timing, and duration of each stressor they endorse. Questions that are inappropriate (based on a participant’s demographic characteristics) are automatically omitted from the interview. Based on this information, the system produces 455 variables that are used to assess an individual’s cumulative exposure to stress. Analyses can be based on a number of factors, including stressor severity and timing (e.g., Early Adversity vs. Distant vs. Recent Life Stress). More sophisticated analyses can be performed by focusing on stressors that occur in particular life domains (e.g., Housing, Education, Work, Health, Marital/Partner) or that have particular core characteristics (e.g., Interpersonal Loss, Physical Danger, Humiliation, Entrapment, Role Change). The measure is thus ideal for studies that examine biological or health outcomes that are believed to develop or change over time. The instrument can be self-administered by a participant or can be administered by an interviewer who follows a series of simple on-screen prompts. It has been used for clinical, research, and teaching purposes. When used in a clinical setting, the STRAIN can deliver brief social-psychological interventions based on a user’s unique life stress profile. Learn more about the STRAIN on the STRAIN Website.

  • Time Window: Cumulative (lifetime) stress exposure (i.e., early adversity + adulthood stressors)
  • Administration: Computer-based (i.e., online), either self- or interviewer-administered
  • Time: Interview = 18-30 minutes/subject; Ratings = automatic
  • Estimated Cost: Variable depending on study size and collaborative arrangement, please inquire

Automated Stress Assessment Program (ASAP)

ASAP, the Automated Stress Assessment Program, is a quick and reliable way to assess acute life events and chronic difficulties that occurred over the past year. Based on gold-standard, interview-based methodologies for assessing stress, this computer-based program systematically inquires about potential sources of stress in several domains of functioning (e.g., work, school, financial, interpersonal, etc). Probes regarding stressor severity, frequency, timing, and duration are accompanied by additional questions that probe the extent to which participants’ ruminated over the stressors and felt as though they had control over the stressors. Biographical details about the individual and contextual information about each life stressor are also collected. The information is used to calculate the final life stress ratings, which are computed automatically by the program.

  • Time Window: Recent stress exposure (i.e., past year)
  • Administration: Computer-based; either self- or interviewer-administered
  • Time: Interview = 18-25 minutes/subject; Ratings = automatic; Administration = 1 hour/subject
  • Estimated Cost: Variable depending on study size and collaborative arrangement, please inquire

Stress Rating Interface (SRI)

The Stress Rating Interface (SRI) is a state-of-the-art way to enter and store valuable life stress data that are derived from interview-based measures of life stress, such as the LEDS. Once your stress ratings are complete, simply enter them directly into SRI. The stress information is securely stored and can be easily retrieved at any time for data analysis purposes. The system saves time and money by eliminating the need for an additional data entry person. It also streamlines the entire data collection process, reducing opportunities for data entry problems and errors. The SRI system can be customized on request.

  • Administration: Computer-based data entry system
  • Time: Data Entry = Approximately 7 minutes/subject; Ratings = automatic
  • Estimated Cost: Variable depending on study size and collaborative arrangement, please inquire

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