1.1 Two hospital doctors who
noticed that many of the
patients that they visited on
their rounds had suffered life
events causing disruption to
their lives in the previous year.
1.1.1 They decided to
construct a questionnaire
to examine the possible
link between life
changing events and
1.2.1 1) They examined the medical
records of over 5000 patients
and compiled a list of 43 life
184.108.40.206 2) They rated these in order of the time it
would take to get your life back to
some semblance of normality following
220.127.116.11.1 3) They gave ‘marriage’ an arbitrary
score of 500 and got others to rate the
other events in comparison to this.
18.104.22.168.1.1 4) They averaged out the scores and
divided them by 10, so in the final
scale ‘marriage’ has a score of 50.
22.214.171.124.1.1.1 5) The scale starts at 100 LCUs (Life Change
Units) for ‘death of a spouse and ends with 11
LCUs for ‘minor violation of the law.’
1.3 The scale was tested on different groups of people to
determine its relevance. Patients would add up the score
for each life event and this would be their total LCU. They
believed that a score of over 300 meant an 80% chance of
developing a serious physical illness in the following year.
2 Changes in a persons life
that require a significant
adjustment in various aspects
of that persons life
3 Examples Of Life Changes
3.2 Death of spouse
4 Rahe et al (1970) tested 2700 naval personnel on board
three American cruisers just before they set sail. During their
seven months tour of duty the sailors kept health records.
4.1 A correlation of +0.118 was found between LCUs and
ill-health. This is relatively low; however, because of the
size of the sample (2700) it is statistically significant.
4.1.1 The SRRS contains potentially positive life events such as
Christmas, holidays and change in personal finances (which
could be positive as well as negative, It therefore seems fair
to assume that what the SRRS is measuring is change in a
person’s life that is leading to stress.
5 Michael and Ben Zur
5.1 They looked at 130 people
who had recently divorced
or been widowed.
5.1.1 Levels of ‘life satisfaction’ had not
surprisingly dipped following death
of the spouse in the widowed group.
126.96.36.199 However, in the divorced group the opposite was recorded with
people reporting an increase in ‘life satisfaction.’ This would
seem to support the idea that the scale is measuring change
rather than negative issues following life events.
6 Evaluation Of SRRS
6.1.1 The life events in the list will have different meaning and cause different
amounts of disruption to different people. For example the effects of
divorce will depend on how long the couple have been married
6.2 Cause and
6.2.1 The scale implies a correlation between stress and ill-health,
however, as I’m sure you must have realised by now correlations do
not prove cause and effect. All manner of other reasons could be
used to explain the link. Ill-health could be causing the stress, or the
life events. For example a heart attack could cause loss of job,