The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ personal, academic, and social life has been quite stressful. The threat to life from the virus, social isolation, and the need to shift from face-to-face learning to online mode has been challenging. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to develop and validate a self-administered tool to assess the source of COVID-19 pandemic stress among college students. The data was collected online using google forms in two phases. The data collected from 173 participants from phase one was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The second phase data of 216 participants were analyzed to validate the factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The standardized factor loadings, Composite Reliability (CR), and AVE of factors were assessed to determine the convergent validity of the scale. Similarly, discriminant validity and concurrent predictive validity were assessed through the HTMT ratio of correlations and ROC curves, respectively. A succession of Exploratory Factor Analysis yielded a five-factor solution, explaining 73.83 percent variance with 13 indices. CFA via maximum likelihood with bootstrapping indicated a good fit for the five-factor model (SRMR = 0.037, RMSEA = 0.049, CFI = 0.981). The standardized factor loadings, Composite Reliability (CR), and AVE of factors together suggest acceptable convergent validity. Further, the ROC curve results to assess stress indicated an acceptable AUC, with a magnitude of 0.79, p
< 0.01, indicating concurrent predictive validity for the five-factor Student COVID-19 Stress Scale (SCSS). HTMT ratio of correlations <0.85 indicated discriminant validity for the factor structure. The CR > 0.70 for the dimensions indicated acceptable reliability. Thus, the SCSS can be an effective instrument to assess the source of pandemic stress among students so that tailor-made timely interventions can be provided to prevent long-term adverse effects.
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