This Holmes and Rahe stress scale calculator evaluates whether the perceived stressful life events can affect your health in the following years. Discover more about this social readjustment rating scale and its interpretation below the form.
How does this Holmes and Rahe stress scale calculator work?
This health tool tries to explain the effects of stress on the immune system from a general point of view and can raise alarm signs whenever subjects are not responding to stress as they should in order to maintain their health.
The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) has been developed in 1967 by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe as the method for assessing life stressors in the study patients.
The original 43 item life stress inventory aims to determine whether stressful life events carry causality in illnesses.
The subject is asked to choose the events that have happened in their lives during the previous year. The first tab is designated for adult use while the second tab is for non adults. The criteria and the means of evaluation are similar in both tabs but have been adapted to correspond to the age groups in question.
The adult stress level scale, the original Social readjustment rating scale in the Holmes and Rahe stress scale calculator:
|1. Death of a spouse||100||23. Child leaving home||29|
|2. Divorce||73||24. Trouble with in-laws||29|
|3. Marital separation||65||25. Outstanding personal achievement||28|
|4. Imprisonment||63||26. Spouse starts or stops work||26|
|5. Death of a close family member||63||27. Beginning or end school||26|
|6. Personal injury or illness||53||28. Change in living conditions||25|
|7. Marriage||50||29. Revision of personal habits||24|
|8. Dismissal from work||47||30. Trouble with boss||23|
|9. Marital reconciliation||45||31. Change in working hours or conditions||20|
|10. Retirement||45||32. Change in residence||20|
|11. Change in health of family member||44||33. Change in schools||20|
|12. Pregnancy||40||34. Change in recreation||19|
|13. Sexual difficulties||39||35. Change in church activities||19|
|14. Gain a new family member||39||36. Change in social activities||18|
|15. Business readjustment||39||37. Minor mortgage or loan||17|
|16. Change in financial state||38||38. Change in sleeping habits||16|
|17. Death of a close friend||37||39. Change in number of family reunions||15|
|18. Change to different line of work||36||40. Change in eating habits||15|
|19. Change in frequency of arguments||35||41. Vacation||13|
|20. Major mortgage||32||42. Major Holiday||12|
|21. Foreclosure of mortgage or loan||30||43. Minor violation of law||11|
|22. Change in responsibilities at work||29|
The non-adult modified version of the stressful life events scale and the weight of each item:
|1. Death of parent||100||21. Breaking up with boyfriend or girlfriend||53|
|2. Unplanned pregnancy/abortion||100||22. Beginning to date||51|
|3. Getting married||95||23. Suspension from school||50|
|4. Divorce of parents||90||24. Becoming involved with drugs or alcohol||50|
|5. Acquiring a visible deformity||80||25. Birth of a brother or sister||50|
|6. Fathering a child||70||26. Increase in arguments between parents||47|
|7. Jail sentence of parent for over one year||70||27. Loss of job by parent||46|
|8. Marital separation of parents||69||28. Outstanding personal achievement||46|
|9. Death of a brother or sister||68||29. Change in parent's financial status||45|
|10. Change in acceptance by peers||67||30. Accepted at college of choice||43|
|11. Unplanned pregnancy of sister||64||31. Being a senior in high school||42|
|12. Discovery of being an adopted child||63||32. Hospitalization of a sibling||41|
|13. Marriage of parent to stepparent||63||33. Increased absence of parent from home||38|
|14. Death of a close friend||63||34. Brother or sister leaving home||37|
|15. Having a visible congenital deformity||62||35. Addition of third adult to family||34|
|16. Serious illness requiring hospitalization||58||36. Becoming a full fledged member of a church||31|
|17. Failure of a grade in school||56||37. Decrease in arguments between parents||27|
|18. Not making an extracurricular activity||55||38. Decrease in arguments with parents||26|
|19. Hospitalization of a parent||55||39. Mother or father beginning work||26|
|20. Jail sentence of parent for over 30 days||53|
The study collected the answers of a considerable number of subjects which then had their health parameters monitored during the following six months.
As a result of the study, a positive correlation of 0.118 was found between the patient’s reported life events and the presentation illnesses.
Subsequent validation tried to correlate the scores in the scale with subsequent onset of illness and although life stressors are not the main cause to health problems, there is significant causality involved, meaning that it cannot be concluded that stress causes illnesses but there is a correlation in the processes.
To this day the scale has been used in different populations in the American continents and was also tested cross-culturally, although the result was not favorable, due to the scale not accounting for cultural differences.
Every individual has a different ability to cope with life stressors, from major lifetime events to minor every day stressful situations. However, this ability to manage stress and psychological adjust to life seems to have an influence on health overall.
Each of the items in the scale carries a number of Life Change Units, a relative value awarded in the first stages of the original study in order to quantify the said stressors and obtain the overall interpretable score.
The LCU values were added in the early phases of research when 394 subjects were shown the 43 item scale and told that marriage, as an item is given 500 points on the imaginary stress scale. The subjects were then asked to individually assign points over 500 to life stressors higher than marriage and points below 500 to life events that they perceive to be less stressful than marriage.
The average values of the points awarded were then used in the LCU of the SRRS. There are three categories of results, divided by the severity of risk for major health breakdown in the following 24 months after the stress assessment.
■ Scores equal to or above 300 are considered high risk with 80% chances.
■ Scores between 150 and 299 are moderate risk with 50% chances.
■ Scores below 150 are considered low risk.
The main criticism received by this stress scale was that it doesn’t account for inherent variation, meaning that each individual perceives certain life events more stressing than others. And although the scale was built on subject evaluation, there should be an extent to which the LCUs awarded can vary depending on individual preference.
The scale does involve both positive and negative life chances and doesn’t make a provision to difference these, although both types can be considered stressors.
At the same time, it appears that the research conducted was focused on male response, therefore some critics say is it not entirely specific or adapted for female use.
Being a self report assessment, some patient answers might not be reliable enough, whether the patient doesn’t recall certain events or doesn’t accurately acknowledge the stressor effects of others.
Another point of view if that the criteria in the scale are outdated and that it should be updated to cover the current stressors in nowadays modern society.
1) Holmes TH, Rahe RH. (1967) The Social Readjustment Rating Scale. J Psychosom Res; 11(2):213-8.
2) Rahe RH, Arthur RJ. (1978) Life change and illness studies: past history and future directions. J Human Stress; 4(1):3-15.
3) Rahe RH, Mahan JL Jr, Arthur RJ. (1970) Prediction of near-future health change from subjects' preceding life changes. J Psychosom Res; 14(4):401-6.
4) Rahe RH, Biersner RJ, Ryman DH, Arthur RJ. (1972) Psychosocial predictors of illness behavior and failure in stressful training. J Health Soc Behav; 13(4):393-7.10 Feb, 2016