The Effect of Life Changes On Stress Related Illness -Psychology Essay
Holmes and Rahe intended to find a link between the changes in some one’s life and them becoming stressed and consequently ill, so both the links between life
changes and stress, and then stress and illness. The last thing they wanted to do was to determine the severity of a life change, and thus predict how ill you may become.
Some of the procedures that the two men undertook included checking patient’s medical records to find 43 life changes that were common during the months prior to the illness, then asked roughly 400 people to rate how stressful each event was in relation to getting married which was given a rating of 50, this then led to them creating there SRRS (Social Readjustment Rating Scale) and finally, some patients they asked were already ill and were asked to calculate their SRRS totals in the few earlier months, and the reverse, some people found their SRRS scores and were then monitored for illness.
They found that there was a correlation of higher SRRS scores and more likely to become ill. The percentage was roughly 50% likely to become ill if your score was over 200 and 80% if more than 300.
There are unfortunately a couple of weaknesses about this theory. Some of them include the fact that positive and negative changes were both counted alike, but this could be a mistake as positive changes may be more enjoyable and not contributing to the illness in any way. And another weakness is cultural relativism, as some things that we may find a negative change and find to be stressful, may be the complete opposite for other cultures, and thus it may not help towards and illness.
Finally it was found by Kanner, that a more accurate way of using this theory was to measure changes by daily minor hassles, such as getting stuck in a traffic jam or missing a bus etc. These weaknesses are all quite major factors, even though the SRRS and related research is still in common use today.