Describe Holmes and Rahe's (1967) Social Readjustment Rating Scale (Srrs) and Describe to What Extent It Is a Valid Taxonomy of the Causes of Stress

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Describe Holmes and Rahe’s (1967) Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) and describe to what extent it is a valid taxonomy of the causes of stress. The top five stressful events, which can happen in an individual’s life, are categorised as ‘death of a spouse’, ‘divorce’, ‘martial separation’, ‘jail term’, and ‘death of a close family member’. Also, events such as ‘vacation’ and ‘change in eating habits’ are considered to be minor life changes on the scale. Each event is attributed to an arbitrary value or ‘LCU’ (Life Change Units) ranging from one to a hundred. From this, an individual is given a cumulative score based upon all of the stressful events which have happened to them over the previous year. People with a sum total of between two hundred and three hundred life change units are supposed to develop major health problems. People scoring over one hundred units are likely to suffer a moderate period of ill-health (Holmes and Rahe, 1967). It can be said that there is a considerable bias in some of the items on the list of life events, favouring adults over younger individuals. Needless to say, teenagers suffer from stress, but it is unconvincing to argue that they need to cope with occurrences such as ‘death of a spouse’, ‘divorce’ or ‘marital separation’ and it is likely that they will not find ‘vacation’ stressful but the complete opposite. It also should be noted that stressful events including ‘exams pressures’ and ‘concerns about weight or appearance’ are not included in the forty-three life events, and these can be considerably stressful for younger people. This reiterates the fact that some items need to be added to the model, for this scale to be more generalisable in characterising the causes of stress. References
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