Holmes and Rhae (1967)

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Lauren Sapsed - Essay Question Holmes and Rhae (1967) conducted a study of which they asked 394 people to assess the personal impact or stress value of 43 life events. Death of a partner was rated as having the most impact and was given a value of 100. Then other events were scaled in relation to death of a partner. Adding up the values for events experienced in the previous year gives a life change score for an individual. Others examples from the study social readjustment rating scale (SRRS), divorce 73, redundancy 47, beginning school and a holiday being 13. However the positives of this study is that people could learn beforehand how stressful an event will be before doing it. Another positive is that over 300 people did the study, which increases the study reliability. On the other hand there is criticism to the SRRS. One of them being that there is no allowance for individual differences, in divorce, one partner is usually happier about it than the other, although both would be given the same score on the scale. Modern versions of the scale ask participants to assess the personal impact of events. Another criticism is that the SRRS scale is historically and culturally limited, as it was devised in the 1960s in the US, which also means that you cannot generalize the research. A third criticism is that there is no distinction between positive and negative life events, positive events such as Christmas can be stress, but negative events have been shown to be more stressful. Rahe et al (1970) used the SRRS to test Holmes and Rahe’s hypothesis that the number of life vents a person experienced would be positively correlated with illness. Rahe et al aimed to study a normal population as distinct from the populations previously studied of individuals who were already ill in hospital. Rahe et al studied 2,500 male US Navy personnel completed the SRRS

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