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DSI Differential Stress Inventory

S. Lefèvre & K. D. Kubinger


Measures the level and causes of an individual’s experience of stress.
The special stress inventory, DSI, yields a differentiated assessment of stress triggers, stress manifestations, available coping strategies and risks of stress stabilization. Coping successfully with stressful situations and everyday stressors is crucial to personal wellbeing and for success and productivity at work. The DSI is therefore useful in the fields of personnel development (staff & management assessments) and career guidance. The level of subjectively experienced stress can be related to a number of psychosomatic disorders (e.g. burnout, migraine). This questionnaire is therefore also used in clinical neuropsychology.
Forms S3 and S4 (DSIHR) are particularly suitable for use in the assessment of fitness to use weapons and in HR.


Using a four-point answer scale, respondents indicate how frequently or strongly various statements have applied to them in the past two to three months. The previous answer can be corrected.

Test forms

S1: Standard form for adults/people in work S2: Standard form for adolescents/school students S3: Standard form DSIHR for adults/people in work S4: Standard form DSIHR for adolescents/school students


The following main variables are scored:

  • Triggering of stress: Overall measure of the presence of stress-triggering events.
  • Stress manifestation: The number of manifestations of stress and symptoms of strain that occur.
  • Coping: The number of coping strategies that are actually used.
  • Stress stabilization: Overall measure of existing stabilization factors that can lead to the subjective feeling of stress becoming chronic.

The subsidiary variables are an aid to interpretation, as they enable the main variables to be viewed in a more nuanced way. For example, distinctions are made between the triggering of stress through everyday events, through interaction or through worries about life circumstances and the different triggers are scored separately.

In addition, the subsidiary variables are correlated and the subjective experience of stress is assessed. This enables the respondent to be assigned with a certain probability to one of a number of types:

  • Type I: Normal type – stress is a common occurrence but the respondent copes with it successfully.
  • Type II: Overstressed – above-average physiological and emotional/cognitive suffering in the face of everyday stress despite an above-average number of coping strategies.
  • Type III: Stress-resistant – below-average stress as a result of everyday situations. There is therefore less need for coping strategies.
  • Type IV: Low stress – successful coping.
  • Type V High stress – successful coping.

Scoring elements

Working time
Confidence interval
Profile analysis
Test protocol
Item analysis protocol
Progress chart
Special diagrammatic representation of results
Personalized Word report
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Test type

Special Personality Tests

Test information

language-free item material
parallel test form
conforms to the Rasch-model
additional device required
high level of test security
wide norm spectrum
test form available for online presentation - open mode
links to CogniPlus
supervisor-supported testing


Chinese (simplified)
Chinese (traditional)


approx. 15 minutes

Special features

Special norms available for young people from the age of 12.