Holmes and Rahe 1967

This is the stress experiment done by Holmes and Rahe in 1967. I hope they help!

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They wanted to find out whether a life event effects the health of patients in hospitals as they noticed that many patients, in particular those with heart disease, reported significant life events in the proceeding year.

They introduced the concept of a life event as a change in life circumstances requiring a degree of adjustment on the part of the individual.

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To rate the impact of different events they asked 394 people to compare 43 life events with marriage in terms of the degree of adjustment necessary. Marriage was given an arbiturary value of 500 and other events were scored higher or lower.

For the final scale scores were divided by 100 and referred to as Life Change Units (LCUs), and the whole scale called the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS).

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Life Event                                         Stress Value

  • Death of a Spouse                                  100
  • Divorce                                                    73
  • Jail Term                                                  63
  • Personal Injury or illness                          53
  • Marriage                                                  50
  • Fired at work                                            47
  • Retirement                                               45
  • Pregnancy                                               40 
  • Beginning or ending school                     26
  • Vacation                                                  13
  • Christmas                                                12
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Methodological Issues

The main issue with this study is that it was carried out in the US and so the events and how they were rated have been culturally specific. In addition there was no objective assessment of the degree of adjustment necessary; they relied on participants' opinions.

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Thankyou :D

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