Life Stress Scale

This widely reprinted index lists forty-three stressful life events and the value of each “stress unit.”

To use the Life Stress Scale, check off events which have happened to you within the last year, then add up the total number of stress units. Use the blank lines between items to add your own life stress events, and assign the appropriate number of points by comparing it to the events ranked in the chart.

Holmes and Rahe, who developed the life stress scale, found that a score of 150 for events occurring within the last year gives you a fifty-fifty chance of developing an illness. A score of 300+ gives you a ninety percent chance.

Notice the “positive” events (outstanding personal achievement, vacation, Christmas) can be as stressful as “negative” ones. Let’s see, where should we put running a marathon, starting tap-dancing lessons, getting out new issue of MSC?

Score

Life Event Value Score

Score

Life Event Value Score

£ Death of Spouse 100 ____

£ Divorce 73 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Marital Separation 65 ____

£ Jail term 63 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Death of close family member 63 ____

£ Personal injury or illness53____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Marriage 50 ____

£ Fired from work 47 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Marital reconciliation 45 ____

£ Retirement 45 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Change in health of family

member 44 ____

£ Pregnancy 40 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Sex difficulties 39 ____

£ Gain of new family member 39____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Business readjustment 39 ____

£ Change in financial state 38____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Death of close friend 37 ____

£ Change to different line of work36 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Change in number of

arguments with spouse35 ____

£ Mortgage over $10,000 31 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Foreclosure of mortgage or

loan 30 ____

£ Change in responsibilities at

work 29 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Son or daughter leaving home 29 ____

£ Trouble with in-laws 29 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Outstanding personal

achievement 28 ____

£ Wife begins or stops work 26____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Begin or end school 26 ____

£ Change in living conditions 25 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Revision of personal habits 24 ____

£ Trouble with boss 23 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Change in work hours or

conditions 20 ____

£ Change in residence 20 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Change in schools 20 ____

£ Change in recreation 19 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Change in church activities 19 ____

£ Change in social activities 18 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Mortgage or loan less than

$10,000 17 ____

£ Change in sleeping habits 16____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Change in number of family

get-togethers 15 ____

£ Change in eating habits 15 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Vacation 13 ____

£ Christmas 12 ____

£ _____________________ ___ ____

£ Minor violation of the law11____

tour total _____

Resources: For more on the Life Stress Scale, see:

Holmes and Rahe, “The Social Readjustment Rating Scale,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2 (1967):213-18.

The social readjustment rating scale was first published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2 (1967):213-18. Copyright © 1967 Pergamon Press, Inc. Reprinted with permission.


 
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