Outline and Evaluate Life Changes as Sources of Stress (12marks)

428 Words2 Pages
Life changes are events in a person’s life that require a significant readjustment in various aspects of a person’s life these can be things like divorce or marriage. Holmes & Rahe are two doctors; they noticed that in many of their patients had experienced some form of stress before they became physically ill. They predicted that life events could lead to illness; to test this they developed the SRRS (Social Readjustment Rating Scale) to measure a person’s level of stress and whether it correlated with physical illness. This questionnaire was based on 43 life event taken from 5000 patient records. In order to establish the stressfulness of each event they enlisted the help of 400 participant and they were asked to score each of the 43 life events with a numerical figure of how much readjustment would be needed, taking marriage as an arbitrary baseline value of 50. They suggested that people with an LCU of between 200-300 have a 50% chance of getting ill, while a score over 300 increases this to 80%. Lazarus suggests that major life changes are relatively rare in most people’s lives. Instead he argues that it is the minor daily stressors (hassles) a person’s experiences which will impact on their health. For example, De Longis studied stress in 75 married couples. They gave participants a life events questionnaire and a hassle and uplifts scale. They found no relationship between life events and health, but did find a positive correlation of +.59 between daily hassles and next-day health problems such as flu, sore throats, headaches and backaches. This therefore suggests that life events are not necessarily a good predictor of health related behaviour and daily hassles may provide a more adequate account. Most of the studies on life events and illness have produced correlation data. Therefore although they show a relationship between life events and illness
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