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Life changes

  • Holmes and Rahe 1967 played a key role in developing the idea that life changes are linked to stress and illness.

A major life event = usually results in a physical illness.

Changes can be both negative and positive but because they are changes they could impact health.

Holmes and Rahe 1967

  • Developed the social readjustment rating scale (SRRS) to test the idea that life changes are related to physical illness.

  • The SRRS was based on 43 life events taken from their analysis of over 5000 patient records.

  • To find out the stressfulness of each event they enlisted the help of 400 participants. They were asked to rate each event using the numerical scale of 1-100 to rate how much readjustment would be required by the average person, using marriage as a base line of 50.

  • Scores were all totalled and averaged to produce life changes units (LCUs) for each life event.

 

Rahe et al 1970

  • Wanted to test whether the SRRS model could be positively correlated to illness.

  • A military version of the SRRS was given to men abroad three US Navy ships- over 2,700 men

  • Filled in the form just before tour of duty-noting all the life experiences they had experiences over the past 6 months.

  • An illness score was calculated on the

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