Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Original Article

Translation, cultural adaptation, and validation of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the Higher Education Stress Inventory (HESI-Br)

João Pedro Gonçalves Pacheco, Mauricio Scopel Hoffmann, Luiza Elizabete Braun, Isabella Poletto Medeiros, Damaris Casarotto, Simone Hauck, Fabio Porru, Michael Herlo, Vitor Crestani Calegaro

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There are no validated instruments to measure education-related stress in Brazilian university students. Thus, we aimed to translate and test internal reliability, convergent/discriminant validity, and measurement equivalence of the Higher Education Stress Inventory (HESI).

The translation protocol was carried out by two independent translators. The instrument was culturally adapted after a pilot version that was administered to 36 university students. The final version (HESI-Br) was administered to 1021 university students (Mean age = 28.3, SD = 9.6, 76.7% female) via an online questionnaire that extended from September 1 to October 15, 2020. Factor structure was estimated using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) in the first half of the data set. We tested the best EFA-derived model with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the second half. Convergent/discriminant validity was tested using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Sex, age groups, period of study, family income and area of study were used to test measurement equivalence.

EFA suggested five factors: career dissatisfaction; faculty shortcomings; high workload; financial concerns; and toxic learning environment. CFA supported the 5-factor model (15 items), but not a higher order factor, suggesting multidimensionality. All 5 factors presented acceptable internal reliabilities, with Cronbach’s α ≥.72 and McDonald’s ω ≥.64. CFA models indicate that HESI-Br and DASS-21 assess different but correlated underlying latent constructs, supporting discriminant validity. Equivalence was ascertained for all tested groups. 

The 15-item HESI-Br is a reliable and invariant multidimensional instrument for assessing relevant stressors among university students in Brazil. 


Psychological stress, university, education, psychometrics, factor analysis

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