Document Type


Publication Date



School of Public Health





To compare stress levels among residents in large Chinese cities between 2001 and 2008.


Survey data were collected in three mainland Chinese capital cities in two waves, in 2001 and 2008, respectively. Participants were recruited through a multi-stage stratified sampling process. Stress was assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale, Chinese version (CPSS). Descriptive methods were used to estimate mean stress levels and associated 95% confidence intervals. Estimates were adjusted by post-stratification weights.


Indicating stable stress levels, respective adjusted mean stress scores for the combined samples of study participants were 23.90 (95%CI: 23.68–24.12) in 2001 and 23.69 (95%CI: 23.38–24.01) in 2008. A lower stress level in 2008 than in 2001 manifested among residents who were under 25 years of age; female; with a college or higher level education; divorced, widowed, or separated; members of the managerial and clerical group; students or army personnel; or with an annual income of at least 30,000 RMB.


The overall stress level did not change among the combined sample of residents in the three Chinese study cities between 2001 and 2008. However, levels remained high and varied across social strata, and may have reflected a national trend among urban residents. Findings indicate a need for a new health policy, and call for the design and implementation of evidence-based interventions that target the highest-risk groups.

Source Citation

Yang, T., Wu, D., Zhang, W., Cottrell, R. R., & Rockett, I. R. H. (2012). Comparative Stress Levels among Residents in Three Chinese Provincial Capitals, 2001 and 2008. PLoS ONE, 7(11), e48971.


This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.