Assessing Young People’s Stress Levels and Coping Skills

A young person looking stressed.

The youth you serve have been through a lot. Just as each person has their own story to tell, they may have their own way of handling stress related to their experience. 

A short questionnaire like The Perceived Stress Scale – 10 item can help you assess a young person's stress levels and identify related emotions and behaviors. While the 10-question tool can provide good insight into a young person's emotional state, it shouldn't be used to make a mental health diagnosis.  

Young people can also identify and learn to manage stress with the help of youth-friendly websites.

  • The Act Youth Network, a project of the ACT for Youth Center of Excellence, offers a four-page guide called “Got Stress?” The online resource helps youth identify their stress levels, what's causing their stress, and ways to boost their coping skills.
  • TeensHealth, a project of the Nemours Center for Children's Health Media, offers an online Stress & Coping Center. This resource helps users distinguish between everyday stressors like juggling a busy schedule and more unique situations like sexual harassment or death of a loved one. Youth can also read about the five most common obstacles to asking for help and how to overcome them. 

More On Youth Emotional Well-Being

Learn about assessment and screening tools for measuring mental health, substance abuse, and independent living skills in adolescents.

Download a report on toxic stress among children and youth and how you can help those experiencing it.

Visit the NCFY library to learn more about youth and stress.

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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