Sex differences in the perception of stressful life events in a Spanish sample: Implications for the Axis IV of the DSM-IV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Summary-The role of stress in the development of disease has been the subject of considerable research in the last few years. Stressful life events have been related to many physical and psychological disorders. The DSM-IV devoted Axis IV to these kinds of events. There is, however, scant information on the possible mediating role of sex on perception of stressful life events, or on the validation in other cultures of the categories included in Axis IV of the DSM-IV. A new Scale for Stressful Life Events (SSLE) was developed and administered to 563 female and 213 male university students. Women tended to perceive most stressful life events as more distressing than men, particularly regarding events implicating aggression and withdrawal. Probably events of this kind have a more negative impact on women than on men. The DSM- IV categories for grouping psychosocial and environmental problems in Axis IV were not confirmed by factor analysis of the SSLE. These results show that the effects of sex and culture on the consideration of stressful life events cannot be ignored.


External organisations
  • University of Granada
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • stress, sex, life events, dsm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes