The Domestic Migration Stress Questionnaire (DMSQ): Development and Psychometric Assessment

Xinguang Chen, Bin Yu, Jie Gong, Jing Zeng, Karen KolmodinMacDonell


The growing trend in domestic migration needs empirically based instruments to assess stresses experienced by millions of migrants. We developed the Domestic Migration Stress Questionnaire (DMSQ), the first instrument for measuring domestic migration stress, with reference to published instruments for assessing international migration related stresses. The DMSQ is the first tool designed to measure domestic migration stress. It consists of 16 items and organized into four subconstructs (separation from origin, rejection in the destination, lack of self-confidence and maladaptation). Rigorous psychometric assessment using data collected among rural-to-urban migrants in China (n=77, mean age=24.34, SD=5.85) indicated that DMSQ has a clear four-factor structure, excellent reliability (Cronbach alpha = .93), and adequate validity (significantly related to Perceived Stress Scale score, and predicted an array of stress-related mental health symptoms). The DMSQ provides an instrument much needed for research to assess levels of stress associated with domestic migration. Additional studies are needed to assess its utilities in other places outside of China and to assess longitudinal characteristics of the instrument.

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