Life Changes and Daily Hassles Studies

Life Changes

Rahe et al

Aim - Investigate if life changes are associated with illness

Procedure - Gave the SRRS questionnaire to 2,700 seamen before they went on tour. Answered questions on their life events in past 6 months

After 7 months of duty they recorded how many illnesses they had had

Findings - A weak positive correlation between illness and the test score

Conclusion - Because test included positive and negative events, it is the amount of energy needed to adjust to a event which is stressful

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Life Changes

Holmes + Rahe - Making the SRRS

  • Created the life events questionnaire
  • Recorded 43 life events from 5000 patients being treated for heart disease
  • 400 Pps scored the life events in terms of amount of adjustment needed
  • A score over 150 is considered a life crisis + increases chance of getting a stress-related illness by 30%
  • A score over 300 is considered a major life crisis + increases chance of getting a stress-related illness by 50%
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Evaluation of Life Changes

  • P - Some of the life events on the questionnaire willl be rated differently today
  • E - Divorce has a very high rating, but as it is more common now it will probably have a lower rating today
  • C - As well as this, some of the options are very age specific, making the optins only a suitable measure for middle aged people from that time period
  • P - Individual differences means that the test scores may not be a valid measure for all people
  • E - Some people may experience a death of a parents as very stressful, however for someone who was not very close to their parent they may be less effected
  • C - This means the test scores may be unaccurately labelling someone as highly stressed
  • P - The sample in the Rahe et al study was very unrepresentative
  • E - All of the Pps were seamen, meaning that the data is not representative of other people
  • C - However, a very large sample was used meaning that the results were reliable for that sample
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Daily Hassles

Bouteyre et al

Aim - Investigate relationship between daily hassles + mental health in students during transition from school to uni

Procedure - First year psychology students completed the HSUS questionnaire + a depression rating scale

Findings - A positive correlation betweeen depressed students + high scores on HSUS

Conclusion - Transition has frequent daily hassles which can develop depression

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Daily Hassles


Aim - Investigate how daily hassles + uplifts affect job performance for nurses

Procedure - Nurses kept diaries for 1 month recording all daily hassles + uplifts

Findings - Daily hassles increase job strain but uplits increase job performance

Conclusion - Daily hassles can decrease job performance but uplifts counteract and increase job performance

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Evaluation of Daily Hassles

  • P - Some of the retrospective data used in the Bouteyre study may be unreliable
  • E - In such a busy transitional period it may have been difficult for the students to remember all the daily hassles and may have guessed making data invalid
  • C - However the diaries kept in the Gervais study counteract this as their retrospective data is more likely to be very accurate
  • P - The questionnaire is ethnocentric as some of the options would not be relevant in other cultures
  • E - For example options such as contraception and yard maintenance may not be relevant in other cultures in which contraception goes against religious beliefs or people do not have yards
  • C - This makes the questionnaire only relevant to the people it was based on, American middle aged and middle classed individuals
  • Correlational evidence does not show a causal relationship. There may have been other factors effecting the results. This means the conclusions can not be taken as entirely accurate
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