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Life changes and daily hassles
Holmes and Rahe (1967)
Aim- To give life events a unit on the impact they had and the
degree of adjustment necessary.
Procedure- 394 participants were asked to compare 43 life events with
marriage in terms of the degree of adjustment necessary. Marriage was
given a value of 500 and the other life events were scored higher or
lower. Scores were divided by 100 and where referred to as life change
units (LCUs), the whole scale was referred to as the social readjustment
rating scale (SRRS).
Findings- Death of a spouse was rated highest and holidays and
Christmas were rated lowest. When LCUs of past year were added they
gave chances of developing a stress-related illness.
Ethics- no serious ethical issues, standard procedure such as informed
consent would need to be followed.
Methodology- Study was carried out in the US, so events and how they
were rated would be culturally specific. There was no objective
assessment of the degree of adjustment necessary, they relied on
participants opinions.…read more

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Life changes and daily hassles
Rahe et al (1970)
Aim- To find out the link between LCUs and illness in healthy
Procedure- 2500 male US navy personnel filled in the SRRS for the last 6
months. They were then followed over the following 7 month tour of duty.
All stress-related illnesses were recorded and rated for number and
severity, producing an overall illness score.
Findings- There was a positive correlation of 0.118 between LCU scores
and illness scores. There was a relationship between life event and the
development of stress-related illness. However as the correlation was
low there may be other factors involved.
Ethics-Requires informed consent and debriefing. May be some distress
caused in recalling traumatic life events.
Methodology- Results are culturally and gender specific so should be
generalised with caution. Problems with the use of retrospective
questionnaires apply. There was no specific hypothesis about which
illnesses should be related to life event stress.…read more

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Issues with the SRRS Other scales
No account is taken of whether Sarason et al (1978)
the event has a positive or The life event scale that allowed
negative emotional impact. people to rate life events in terms of
No account is taken of individual severity and impact and whether it
differences. is positive or negative. Sections can
Retrospective reports can be be added for particular groups.
unreliable. Three scores are produced,
Results are in the form of negative change, positive change
correlations and correlations do and total change. This scale allows
not give cause and effect. for individual differences.
Kanner et al (1981)
Recorded relationship scale
between hassles and uplifts and
both positive and negative
symptoms. Found daily hassles are
linked t illness but uplifts can also
lead to a positive effect. Also said
hassles are a better predictor of
stress than life events.…read more

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Workplace stress
Causes include- environment, home-work interface, control and
Marmot et al (1997)
Aim- to test the hypothesis that workplace creates stress and illness.
Procedure- 7372 participants carried out a questionnaire and were
checked for signs of cardiovascular disease. 5 years later they were
assessed for signs of cardiovascular disease, employment grade, job
control and social support.
Findings- Low control is linked with higher stress levels and
cardiovascular disease whereas higher job demand is not linked with
stress and illness.
Ethics- There should be informed consent and debriefing. Workers with
illness should be provided with necessary care.
Methodology- Self-report questionnaires, answers from participants may
be biased. Not all factors were measured that may have contributed to
the results.…read more

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Personality Factors
Type A behaviour (TAB) ambitious, organised, time pressured, highly
competitive, hostile, impatient, aggressive and impulsive.
Rosenman et al (1976)
Aim- To see if type A behaviour was correlated with heart disease.
Procedure- 3454 men on west coast of USA categorised as either type A or type B
by structured interview. As they answered the questions a trained interviewer noted
behavioural signs of the type A pattern. Answers and behaviour were put together to
give an overall assessment of TAB. They were followed up for 8.5 years.
Findings- During the stud there were 257 heart attacks, 69% of which were in the
type A group. The high TAB individual was vulnerable to heart disease.
Ethics- Participants were volunteers giving informed consent and were debriefed.
There was little chance of psychological harm being caused.
Methodology- Study is culturally and gender specific so the findings should be
generalised with caution. Many individual and lifestyle variables that can affect
vulnerability to heart disease, some were controlled but one may have been missed.
This study was high in ecological validity.…read more

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