Focusing on biological stress studies.

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Holmes and Rahe (1967)

  • Introduced the concept of a life event as a change in life that required adjustment.
  • They asked 394 people to compare 43 life events using arbitrary units.
  • Final scores were divided by 100 and referred to as life change units (LCUs) and the scale was called the social readjustment rating scale (SRRS)
  • The study was carried out in the US so can not be generalised and is culturally specific.
  • As a questionnaire was used, no ethical issues are present however, consent and debriefing may need to occur.
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Rahe et al (1970)

  • Rahe et al investigated the ink between LCUs and illness in healthy participants.
  • 2500 male US navy personnel filled in SRRS for six months.
  • Then were followed up over the following 7 months tour of duty and all stress-related illnesses were recorded to produce an overall illness score.
  • Findings showed a positive correlation between LCU scores and illness scores.
  • Rahe et al. concluded that there is a relationship between life events and the development of stress related illnesses but other factors must be involved.
  • Study used only US navy males so results can not be generalised easily.
  • All outcomes were recorded so no specific results can be related to stress.
  • It was a correlational study which does not imply causality but only an association.
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