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            Stress Mastery Questionnaire (SMQ)



The STRESS MASTERY QUESTIONNAIRE (SMQ) was created through extensive research using standard test development methology by Dr. James C. Petersen, a noted stress psychologist, author, speaker and expert on individual and corporate stress mastery programs and interventions. Dr. Petersen developed the SMQ to help people learn about their stress "risk" areas and how stress may be having a negative impact on one's health, productivity, interpersonal relations and quality of life.

Over the past 30 years, the SMQ has been used worldwide in corporate stress management programs, wellness centers, churches, public stress management workshops and by counselors and coaches for individual and small group stress management training. Over 600,000 people in 15 countries have benefited from the SMQ in training, counseling and coaching programs or through personal self-development.

The SMQ is available to individuals for self-development and by trainers, coaches and counselors in their own stress management training or coaching program. For a Quick Look at the SMQ, click on the image below for a short video.



The SMQ is a valid and reliable stress "risk" assessment tool that be adapted to any stress management or wellness program. The SMQ was created using state-of-the-art psychometric test development methodology. After being used in a variety of stress management programs, as well as by patients in Dr. Petersen's Biofeedback and Stress Management Clinic, it was validated through a rigorous year-long study funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (N.I.O.S.H.).

The SMQ is one of only a few scientifically developed stress risk assessment tools currently available and is recognized as the "gold standard" for use in stress management training, coaching and personal self-development programs. The SMQ can be used with confidence in virtually any stress management or stress mastery program. For more information about the SMQ CLICK HERE.

The SMQ has met the rigid scientific standards of this American Institute of Stress (AIS) and is now a Certified Stress Assessment Product that can be used with confidence by professionals in their stress management, stress mastery or individual stress coaching programs. The AIS seal and credentials inform the public that the certificate holder commands advanced knowledge of the latest stress research and stress management techniques.

The American Institute of Stress is a non-profit organization established in 1978 at the request of Hans Selye to serve as a clearinghouse for information on all stress related subjects. Other founding members included Linus Pauling, Alvin Toffler, Bob Hope, Michael DeBakey, Herbert Benson, Ray Rosenman and other prominent physicians, health professionals and lay individuals interested in exploring the multitudinous and varied effects of stress on health, productivity and quality of life.

The SMQ is the "Gold Standard" for stress assessment and is used in companies and orgranizations in over 15 countries. Over 600,000 people have taken the SMQ to learn more about stress and how stress may be affecting them physically, emotionally and socially. Many of these individuals have benefited greatly, as can see from some of the comments below.

Among professionals using the SMQ in their stress management programs, the SMQ has a 100% Approval Rating; this includes professionals from a wide variety of disciplines including, psychologists, physicians, training and development experts, counselors, social workers, wellness and health coaches and many others.

The firststep in the Stress Mastery Program is to help clients, patients or trainees learn how to identify and understand the behaviors and attitudes that reflect underlying cause of stress. Stress shows itself in many different ways, such as in our behaviors, feelings and attitudes. Each person shows their stress differently and there is no one warning sign that tell us stress has become chronic and potentially harmful to health or wellbeing.
The key to mastering stress, whether at work or home, is to quickly recognize our warning signs of stress and then take steps to counteract one's stress and reduce the negative impact of stress. This is accomplished by taking the online Stress Mastery Questionnaire (SMQ)and receiving feedback that can be used to optimize stress for better health and peak performance. The SMQ provides a deeper understanding of how well someone is mastering stress on 11 carefully researched SMQ stress risk scales.

The SMQ is comprised of three Domains or Area; Stress Warning Signs, Stress Effects and Stressors. These with the corresponding Scales as shown below. These three domains are the key elements of a good stress mastery program. Take a "test drive" the SMQ to learn more about how the SMQ can be integrated into your health, wellness or stress management program, pleae CLICK HERE





Anger | Time Urgency | Perfectionism Disappointment | Burnout | Underachievement Tension



Physical | Emotional



Major Life Events | Daily Hassles

For participants in a Training or Coaching program, a Personal Stress Mastery Report is emailed to the trainer or coach for each client or employee who completed the SMQ. If taking the SMQ for self-development and personal stress mastery, the Stress Report is emailed to the individual within 24 hours (usually in just a few hours).

The Stress Report shows the person's actual responses to the SMQ questions and repeats the level of stress "risk" for each major scale. The Report provide a unique level of stress awareness and are important tools to providing clear feedback on what behaviors and thinking styles might be changed to prevent stress from recurring or to reduce the impact of stress on one's body, health and performance. Click here to see the REPORT

Armed with the information from the SMQ and REPORT, each person receives a copy of Stress Mastery Guide. The Guide provides detailed information about each of the 11 SMQ scales with recommendations on What to Know and What to Do to change or modify the underlying behavior or attitude causing stress. The Guide can be used as a self-study guide or integrated into a stress management/mastery training or coaching program.

In order to facilitate change and personal development, the Stress Mastery Workbook provides exercises and a way to journal important concepts, ideas and suggestions so that a plan for personal development can be created. The Workbook section highlights each scale’s questions with a place to write in reflections, comments and ideas on the meaning of the scale and what one might do to build stress mastery and resilience. The Guide/Workbook is essential to helping one to master stress and build resilience.

Contact us if you'd like to see an example of the Stress Mastery Guide or Stress Mastery Workbook.



"I’ve been using the SMQ for over the last 14 months and have given it to about 750 people. It has been extremely useful in our Stress Management Program and I’ve received much positive feedback from the Participants. Some remarks have been: The (SMQ) guide has helped me change my life.’ ‘I get better insight every time I go through the Report and Guide. The SMQ helped me know myself a lot better. I’m a better manager because of that.”

These remarks make me feel good about the effectiveness of the instrument as we apply it in our Stress Management Program.”

State Agency-DES, Paul D. (Ph.D)

"We've been working with Jim and his Stressmaster Assessment for close to 20 years. What Jim has developed is one of the best [stress] assessments tools that I've seen for helping people understand their stress load and, then, being able to manage and overcome their stress."

Susan R. Stop At Nothing.

"I just took the assessment and I think it is great! It was simple, didn’t take too long, and easy to understand. I really liked the [Stress Mastery] Guide as well, especially the Contract For Change Section, as many of the clients we work with have difficulty with follow through. I will be trying this assessment with a client next week Wednesday and will also be presenting this to the occupational therapists and social workers. Thank you very much for being prompt and providing trials for us to try to determine the need for the assessment. I will keep you posted! Thank you."


"I have been reading my "Highs" (scores on the SMQ) and I thank you for hitting it on the head. My Anger, Time Urgency, Tension highs describe me perfectly. I will be using this info taking to my group counseling sessions for discussion and input."

B.F. New Port Richey "

"I would just like to recommend the Stress Mastery Questionnaire (SMQ) as a key organizational tool to help employers to effectively identify and help manage stress within the workplace. Dr. Petersen has developed a comprehensive stress questionnaire that provides users with a comprehensive analysis and report that enables the participant to gain a greater understanding of potential triggers of stress within their lives that can be used to develop an effective stress management action plan to improve their overall health & well being."

P.B Wellness Provider - UK

"On a personl note, I have found the SMQ to be a robust, informative tool, based on sound theory and practice. I am definitely an advocateof the Stressmaster philosoply!"

J.L. (UK Consultancy)




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