Life Changes and Daily Hassles - Biological Psychology AS

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SOCIAL READJUSTMENT RATING SCALE (SRRS)
Holmes and Rahe (1967) developed a questionnaire called the Social
Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) for identifying major stressful life events.
Each one of the 43 stressful life events was awarded a Life Change Unit
depending on how traumatic it was felt to be by a large sample of participants.
A total value for stressful life events can be worked out by adding up the scores
for each event experienced over a 12 month period.
If a person has less the 150 life change units they have a 30% chance of
suffering from stress.
150 - 299 life change units equates to a 50% chance of suffering from stress.
Over 300 life units means a person has an 80% chance of developing a stress
related illness.
EVALUATION
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCE ­ The SRRS assumes that each stressor affects
people the same way. Not necessarily true e.g. divorce can be amicable or even
a relief.
Most 43 life changes in the SRRS aren't everyday events.
Kanner et al (1981) has designed a Hassles Scale which are more common, e.g.
losing things, traffic jams, arguments, disappointments, weight and physical
appearance.…read more

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THE LIFE EXPERIENCES SURVEY (LES)
Sarason et al. (1978) created an alterative to the SRRS because they did not
believe that life changes necessarily had negative effects, as the SRRS
assumed. What's most important in the LES is how the life event is
perceived.
WHAT DID IT INVOLVE?
A questionnaire with 57 questions, where life events were to be rated in
terms of positive and negative impacts.
Positive, negative and total LES scores are calculated.
Negative scores correlate more highly with health problems than positive or
total scores.
EVALUATION
It takes individual differences into consideration.
Some people never experience the events indentified in the LES scale
(cross).…read more

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THE NAVY STUDY ­ RAHE ET AL. (1970)
The researchers wanted to know whether stress and illness were related to one
and other.
HOW DID THEY DO IT?
Male US Navy personnel completed the SRRS (providing a total LCU score)
and were monitored for illness during a six month tour of duty.
WHAT DID THEY FIND?
Higher total LCU scores correlated with higher rates of illness. This shows that
life events are related to an increase risk of illness.
EVALUATION
The research is correlational, so there is the causality problem.
The correlation was very weak, so it is quite likely that if they replicated this
study (i.e. did it again) they would not find a correlation.
The sample was very limited (Navy personnel) so it would be difficult to
generalise the findings.…read more

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THE HASSLES AND UPLIFTS SCALE ­ DELONGIS ET AL. (1988)
WHAT WAS IT?
Each event was rated as an uplift (a positive event) and a hassle (a
negative event). Items include your physical appearance, the weather, the
amount of free time you have etc.
If the overall score is negative, more hassles have been indicated than
uplifts and this is more likely to have health consequences than a more
positive score.
EVALUATION
It's a correlation, so it difficult to sure about cause and effect.
A measure of daily hassles is a better predictor of day-to-day health than
measures of life events.
Individual differences; people are likely to interpret hassles differently.
Like the rating of past events in the SRRS, this scale requires accurate
recall.…read more

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