Life changes as stressors

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  • Created by: z_mills1
  • Created on: 15-05-14 11:01
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  • Life changes as stressors
    • events that require a significant adjustment in a person's life (e.g. divorce)
      • a significant source of stress
    • Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS)
      • developed by Holmes and Rahe to be able to test the idea that life changes are related to stress-related illnesses e.g. depression
      • SRRS is based on 43 life events taken from an analysis of over 5000 patient records
        • scores for individual life events were totalled and averaged to produce a LCU for each event e.g. marriage = 50
    • Research into sources of stress (Rahe et al.)
      • 2500 male american sailors were given SRRS to measure life events experienced over the previous 6 months
      • total score on SRRS was recorded for each paricipant
      • during their 6month tour of duty a record was kept of any illness
      • they found a small positive correlation of +0.18 between life change scores and illness scores
      • positive correlation indicated that there was a meaningful relationship between LCUs and health - as LCUs increased so did the frequency of illness
        • experiencing life events increases the chance of stress-related health breakdown
      • EVAL - sample restricted to US navy personnel - reduces validity of study and difficult to generalise to population
    • Evaluation of life changes approach
      • individual differences - the scale's values for different events are arbitrary and will vary from person to person
      • causality - relationship between SRRS score and health is correlational, tells us nothing about causality
      • SRRS does not distinguish +ve from -ve because the model assumes that any life change is stressul


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