Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Adolescent Perceived Events Scale (APES)

General Description:

The Adolescent Perceived Events Scale (APES) is a self-report measure of stressful events that commonly affect adolescents.  As outlined in Compas et al. (1987), originally there were three separate versions of the scale for young (junior high school age), middle (high school age), and older (beginning college) adolescents; however, we recommend using the short form of the APES that is currently used for all ages of adolescents (10 through 18-years-old; see Grant & Compas, 1995).  The short form consists of 90 stressful events, ranging from major life events (e.g., death of a relative) to daily events (e.g., household chores) that characterize several domains of functioning.  For each item, the adolescent indicates whether or not they have experienced the stressful event in the past 6-months.  If so, then the adolescent rates their perceived desirability of that event on a 9-point scale (-4 = extremely bad, 0 = neither good or bad, +4 = extremely good).  The APES can be scored in a variety of ways, including calculating total weighted scores for both negative and positive events or generating separate scores for major and daily events.   One limitation of the current form of the APES is that it biased toward stressors experienced by white, middle to low SES, rural and suburban populations.  We expect that a number of important stressors confronted by adolescents in other environments, particularly from various minority groups and in urban environments, are not included.

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