Outline and evaluate psychological research into life changes as a source of stress. (8marks)
Holmes and Rahe (1967) aimed to test the hypothesis that the stress of life events was correlated with illness. They suggested that change is stressful and therefore this affects our health.
They developed the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), as a way to measure the relationship between life changes and physical illness. The SRRS is made up of 43 life events and each event is given a score in life change units (LCUs). 2,500 male US Navy personnel completed the SRRS. The questionnaire was completed before a tour of duty and they had to note all the life events they had experienced over the previous six months. This was to create a LCU score. A health record was also kept of each participant during the six months tour of duty.
The SRRS and the illness score were analysed and it was discovered that there was a significant positive correlation of +0.118 between LCU score and illness score. This shows the direction of correlation was positive and the strength of the relationship was weak.
A strength of this research is the sample size, as 2,500 individuals completed the SRRS it means the results are more likely to be representative and valid due to the large sample size. This means that the findings and conclusions can be applied to other individuals.
However, a weakness of this study is that it lacks population validity, as it was only carried on males meaning