Outline and evaluate research into the effects of life events on health outcomes

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Outline and evaluate research into the effects of life events on health outcomes:

There has been much research to suggest that stressful life events have a negative effect on health outcomes. In 1967 Holmes and Rahe created a Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) by examining the medical records of 5000 patients and compiling a list of 43 life events that tended to appear more frequently in time prior to periods of illness. They then asked a group of 100 participants to assign a number to each of the life events on how much readjustment they considered it would involve relative to marriage which had been given a value of 500.

The findings showed that Death of a Spouse would on average require double the readjustment than marriage would. In order to get a weighting for each life event the average of the numbers given to each event were divided by ten. The amount of stress experienced in a given period was measured in Life Change Units which was calculated by adding the mean values that had associations with the events the person had experienced during that time period.
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It was found by Holmes and Rahe that higher LCU scores for the previous year had a greater risk of illness in the following year, such as sudden cardiac death, non fatal heart attacks, and diabetes of leukaemia.

However, there were some weaknesses to the SRRS. The scale itself is ambiguous in the sense that each event could be interpreted differently by each individual. For instance some people might see divorce as a good thing, a relief of stress, if they had been able to escape an unhappy marriage. Whereas another person could see divorce as an ...

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