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Development of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale [by Holmes and Rahe 1967].

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Development of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale [by Holmes and Rahe 1967] AIM: - The 2 medical doctors developed the SRRS in order to test their hypothesis that, "stress as created by life events was a cause of physical illness". PROCEDURES: - *They observed that patients tended to have experienced several life events in the months before the onset of illness. *To test their hypothesis they developed the SRRS, by examining 5000 patient records and making a list of 43 life events that seemed to precede illness. *Then they asked about 400 participants to rate each item in terms of stress it produced. *They assigned a random value of 500 to marriage as a reference point. Specifically they asked participants to think of each event and to answer the question "is this event indicative of more or less readjustment than marriage?". *At the end, they averaged everyone's results and divided by 10 to get a measure of the individual events in terms of life change units [LCU's]. LCU represented the degree of stress caused by an event. *Holmes and Rahe used their questionnaire with various sub-groups to see if the ratings were consistent. There was strong agreement been different groups, which suggested that it was a valid measure for all types of people. *Using the SRRS involves asking participants to indicate which out of 43 life events have happened to them over a period of time. ...read more.


An evaluation of the aspects relating to the life event scale by Holmes and Rahe Two doctors Holmes and Rahe developed the SRRS in 1967; they thought that whenever an individual an adjustment to an environment the chances of stress being caused would by quite high, as there is a disturbance in an individual's normal routine, this includes divorce, marriage, death of spouse, birth of a new member in the family, losing your job etc. Those who complete the SRRS questionnaire simply tick off their life events they have experienced; this says nothing about the meaning they give to these events. The 43 life events on the SRRS maybe perceived differently by different people. The SRRS approach has many limitations: - "The assumptions that desirable life events can cause stress-related illnesses is not generally supported, and in addition, the scale tends to muddle together different kinds of life events, most particularly those over which you have some control and those you do not. It is the latter events that are the most stressful". This research has been influential to many other researchers. Some studies do suggest a relationship between life changes and the likelihood of someone experiencing illness, but overall the chances of this relationship succeeding are very small. The future problems with illnesses and diseases cannot be predicted. ...read more.


It also offers a wide range of events and relative impact of events assessed. It is an effective way for measuring stress. The higher the individual's stress score, the greater the risk of them getting ill. So people for example with a heart disease would probably have higher life change unit scores than healthy people. "According to Kanner et al [1981], it is less dramatic, but often everyday events in life, that are most stressful, such events include being stuck in traffic, having arguments. Kanner et al have called such irritants, problems or difficulties, hassles". This is a scale; it is a 117-item questionnaire that is used to examine relationship between hassles and health. High scores have been found to been related to both physiological and psychological ill health. "Anita DeLongis and her co-workers [1982] were critics of the life event approach, because various problems outlined. They felt that the life event research studies had found at best a very weak correlation between life events and illness. An alternative would be to focus on the ongoing stresses and strains of daily living, what we call "hassles". In reality according to DeLongis el al, it is these more than anything that determine the extent to which a person feels stressed". DeLongis [1982] investigated the relationship between hassles and physical health, as well as uplifts and physical health. They did find a better correlation than that for the life events and health. ...read more.

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