The basic idea here is that when major life events happen they can be stressful. Even so-called pleasurable events such as Christmas and holidays have their stressful side like organisation or being with the same person/people for a long period of time.
Life events like moving away from home for the first time, university, getting married and buying a house all involve major upheaval and are potentially stressful.
From their work in hospitals, Holmes and Rahe noticed many patients, particularly those with heart disease, reported significant life events in the preceeding year.
They developed the Social Readjustment Rating Scale which required people to indicate any of the life changes they had experienced in the last 12 months. Each life change had been allocated a life changing unit (LCU) score.
Holmes and Rahe predicted the more life events that had occured, the more stressed someone would be and therefore the more likely they would be ill.
394 patients from the USA were asked to complete the SRRS questionnaire indicating any life changes they had experienced in the last 12 months.
They found a…