Rahe Et Al Study Guide

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Core studies summary Holmes & Rahe (1970) stress study

|Aims and context (Put aims of study & background history): | | | |The aim of the study is to be able to find a prospective positive correlation between life stress caused by life events and later | |illness. | |It has long been suggested that there is a relationship between the amount of stress we are exposed to and how much illness we suffer | |from. Our body’s physiological (biological) response to stressors is very complex, but many researchers have linked the stress response | |to causing problems with how our immune system & our cardiovascular system work. | | | |There is evidence to suggest that any change in our life brings about a stress response. There is also a link between a person’s life | |stress, life changes, personal loss & other measurements of social upheaval with illness. This evidence is usually taken from | |retrospective data, (i.e. asking people with stress related illnesses to look back at the previous year & assess what life events had | |happened). Holmes & Rahe (1967) developed the SRRS, where they put together a list of stressful life events experienced by their | |patients seen in their practice. They then asked the hundreds of p’s to rate how stressful each life event was. | | | |Holmes & Rahe then gave a LCU (Life change unit) to each life event depending on how much psychological adjustment the person had to | |make. For example, death of a husband or wife came out top with a score given of 100. After this, the scale was given to people to tick | |off which of the 43 life events they had experienced in the previous 2 years. The researcher added up their score & used it as a guide | |to that person’s life stress. They proposed a score of 150 or more increased the chances of stress related health breakdown by 30%, | |while a score of over 300 increased the odds by 50%. Few research attempts however, have been made to put the life stress & subsequent | |illness hypothesis to a prospective test, (assessing life stress & then observing p’s over a fixed time period) in non-hospital | |populations. This is what the researchers are trying to do here. | | | |Rahe, Mahan & Arthur wanted to limit the methodological flaws in their research. They used an adapted version of the SRRS called the SRE| |(Schedule of Recent Experiences) they decided to correlate this with the rate of illness during the 6-8 months following completion of | |the SRE (which assessed life change units for the 2 years before deployment | |i.e. tour of duty. This research is prospective rather than retrospective then. By using Naval men their sample would have a similar | |experience during their tour of duty they could also be sure good medical records would be kept on each participant. | | | |Aim: Rahe et al using prospective methods...
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