Stress and life events

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It is important to note that there is more than one response to stress. The nature of the situation can therefore determine the nature of the stress response. This is called a transactional model – how an individual reacts based upon their environment.

You have already completed the most famous piece of research in this area, the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) and it has been researched enormously as an area. Life events are said to cause high levels of stress which require an alteration to be made in a person’s life – a life change. These all involve changes from homeostasis, even supposed positive or happy events such as marriage or going on holiday. Holmes and Rahe (1967) believe that this is because changes involve us absorbing psychic energy, meaning we have less available for other things, like fighting off illnesses.


Rahe > Death of spouse, illness, retirement > HYPOTHESIS= Life events make you ill? > Medical

Records > Life Events > Rate in order > Results averaged, divided


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