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Rahe, Mahan and Arthur 1970
Prediction of near- future health
changes from subjects' preceding
life changes…read more

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· Selye suggested that there was a casual link between the psychological state and physical health.
· Dr Holmes and Hawkins researched on sufferers on TB and seeing whether they had any
stressful events around the time of infection. They found that out of the patients he studied, many
of them were poor. This would suggest that it isn't poverty itself that makes people ill, but the
psychological strain it has on the individual due to stress about money problems, health, children
· Hawkins et al researched TB sufferers and non- TB workers. They found disturbing occurrences
in the TB sufferers lives around 2 years prior to infection, and they noted that the non- TB
sufferers had few stressful occurrences .
· Rahe and Holmes saw that a tool was needed to measure how a certain event effects your life
(stress related). To find this, they analysed over 5000 patients' histories and produced 43 critical
life events. They then established the stressfulness of each event by asking 400 people (of all
different backgrounds, age, gender etc) to score how much each event would re-adjust their lives.
The participants were asked to provide a numerical value for each event, taking marriage as a
baseline at 500. The longer the event would take to re-adjust, the higher the score. The results of
this were averaged and called Life Change Units (LCUs). The LCUs and their numerical values
were constructed into Schedule of Recent Experience (SREs). The SREs gave researchers a
similar measurement for stress levels and researchers were then able to collect quantifiable
scores for stress and therefore the relationship between stress- related illness and life changing
events. However, it was seen unethical to produce any of these events onto an individual. So
researchers conducted retrospective studies (where they looked into the past and asked patients
to recall information about their lives over a certain period of time). But this could lead to faulty
recalls from the patient if their memory was distorted and people may have distorted their memory
themselves to make sure that their information fitted in with the experiment. Another issue with
this is that the people studied were already hospitalized so this isn't a proper outlook on society.…read more

Slide 3

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· Rahe et al wished to conduct a
prospective study using a normal
population to investigate if there is a
relationship between life events/ changes
and the general health of the participant. A
group of participants was chosen before
the experiment and followed through the
period of time.…read more

Slide 4

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Procedures- Participants
· 2664 naval and marine male personnel
· Served 3 US navy cruisers; 2 were aircraft
carriers heading off the coast of Vietnam,
and the other aircraft was based in the
· Mean age of men was 22.3 years
· Came from a range of backgrounds…read more

Slide 5

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· Participants were required to fill in the military version of an SRE (a
pen and paper, self- administered questionnaire showing what life
changing events had happened in the individuals life 2 years prior to
boarding the ship. This questionnaire was given to the participants
every 6 months within the 2 year pre- cruise time.
· The each event on the SRS was given an LCU which was
formulated by US civilians. This process of assigning values to
events was repeated to ensure reliability.
· As each ship returned from their assignments, a research physician
reviewed the participants health records which were updated when
the participant reported sick and was sent into the sick room. But if a
participant was lying and wasn't truly ill, this event would be
removed from the results.
· Neither the medical department or the participants were aware of
the aims of the experiment.…read more

Slide 6

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variables were the 2 year assessment before the cruise and the
illness on the cruise time period. There was no significant
correlation. But there was a slight positive correlation between the 6
months before the cruise and the illness on the cruise time period.
The correlation coefficient was calculated to be 0.118, which may
sound low but compared to the amount of participants involved, this
is actually highly significant. The probability that these results were
just by chance was less than 1%. The stringer relationships were on
cruiser 1 and 3.
· DECILE GROUPS- Crew members were divided into groups
according to their TCLUs. Decile 1 contained lowest 10% of TCLU
scores whilst Decile 10 contained the highest 10% of TCLU. The
results showed that the higher your TCLU results were, the more
illnesses you got but deciles 3, 5 and 9 were anomalies in the
experiment as they didn't fit in with the experiment.…read more

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