Group Title: Personality factors and stress ratings of life changes in a college population /
Title: Personality factors and stress ratings of life changes in a college population
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Title: Personality factors and stress ratings of life changes in a college population
Physical Description: xi, 124 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Morgan, Charles Hermann, 1949-
Publication Date: 1979
Copyright Date: 1979
Subject: Stress (Psychology)   ( lcsh )
Adjustment (Psychology)   ( lcsh )
Clinical Psychology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Clinical Psychology -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 117-123.
Additional Physical Form: Also available on World Wide Web
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Hermann Morgan, Jr.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00097459
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000096132
oclc - 06389891
notis - AAL1564


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C o p., r i g hE 1 7 j

Charl s H:.rmann loirgan, Jr.

To ch- mer moryr : of Char les H. Morgan. MI.D.

But thois i ..'h. truzL in the L'rxiL for help
:..ill find their strenr h renev.ed
Th1e ill r i on w'in~ like ea~les.

I c 3 i ,h 41". :3 1


I would likIe to thank Dr. Vernon D. Van De hiet,

Chairman of m'. doctoral committee, friend, and colleague,

for his intellectual and emotional support throughout m':

graduate career and creation of this diss.ertation. His

gentle guidance and tolerance of m i man i 1 id ideas .nd

"false starts" ha'.'e made the graduate learning experience

one of great personal growth. j well as intellectual

development. I would also like to thank the remaining

members of i, doctoral committee, Dr. Ben Earger, Dr.

Gerald Leslie, Dr. Paul Schauble, and Dr. Robert Ziller,

whose encouragement and support have aided me greatlI

throughout this endeavor.

Valuable statistical and computer consultjction was

provided by Charles E. Hol:er. He helped me see hotr I

could do what I wanted with the "mr-.'tical, magical"

computer of the ;Iortheast Regional Data Center. Keypunch

serv'.'i es were performed .by the Center for In tructiona snd

Research C. r' putting Acc i .it es.

I also ir:ih to ackncw eidge the general support of

concern and encouragement ihich hai- come from so many ot

m, friends, fellow students. and professors. A few like

Mar-, H. !IcCaulley. Richard I. Kainz, and Harry rater.

stand out as having helped me cope with the stress of

Lsudying stress. bhu there are many,' more than can be


Final ., to my t ypist. confidant, nurse, lover and

wife. P.uth-Anne. I ish to express my deep thanks and love.

To my, daughter. Jennifer. Who, with [uth-Anne, sul[ered

through inm e forE at producing this dissertation, and m.

abi ence from normal family. life. and .'ho oould al ia.'5. so

easily', brine nme back to the real I world: "Thanks, H-a:.."


AC rJO L rLEDGHENTS ......................... .... .... ............. iv

LIST OF TABLES ................... ................................ iii

ABSTRACT ........................................................ .. ix


I I ITR iODUCTION..... ......... .............. ...............1

The Problem.......................................... 3

II LITEFATUPE PEVIE ........... ..... .. ........... ....... ..7

History: and Early Fe esarch ..........................
OQjantifyino Life Chana e Stre .......................... 11
Current Research and Problem ...................... 1
Theoretical Models and the Concept of Demand....... 17
Personality Factor. F Pelated to Demand .............. 37
Hypothe ses ............................................ A

III IIETHODOLC'i. ........................ ... .............

Subjects............................... ......... ..
Procedure ................... ... .......... ... 50
Data Feducti:on and Analyvsi ........................ 5L

I'.' FESUL TS .................................................. 55

3t ndardi z sion .................................... 56
Per.s nalit Factor ................................ 63

V DiSCUiSIO, ......................................... .... 7Q

Stand ardi zarion .................................... 7'
Personal t, Factor: .......... ... .... .......... ..
Theoretical ssion .......... ..... ......... 91
Directions for Future Research...................... c.

TABLE OF CONlTENTS (concinued)


BACKGCF.OU ID IN]FOPJIAT ION ........................................ 97




I-E SCALE ................ .................................... 101


F-S SCALE .....................................................105


THE LE.'AFJ'IlNG STUAITEiIES QUESTIOl:HAIF.E ........................112

B BLIOC. C F iY ........................................ .................. 117

bIlOGCRAU HICAL SKE CH.................................................... 1


Table Pace

1. Demographic Characteristics of the Sample ................. 9

2. Comparison of "Readjustment and "Upset"
Ratings for Events........................................ 5

3. Correlation Coefficients of Readjustment
Patings with Upset Ratings................................65

4. Correlations; of Each of the EventC and the
Personal Av'erage of All Events with Scores
on Each of the Personality Scals.......................... 6

5. Event-Group Hean Ratings and Correlation
wJith Personality," Factor .................................. 78


Abstract of Dissertation Prreented to the Graduate
Council of the Universit; of Florida in
Partial Fulfil1ment of th~ Requirements for the
D'eg ree of D'octor of Philo-ophy


Charl e Hermann Ilor arn, Jr.

Augu t 197'

Ch a irman: Vernon ,. 'Van De iF. i t, Ph.D.
.1lajor D[epartment: Cl n i c al P.,'cholo g ,

P-cent research bv: 'crsh.o, and Reinhart and other: has

c lled into que~ ti n the ut il ty of standard ighcing of

life chan-e .'ent Pe.earch b Hinkl. and other- has

emphai d the im portance of ind i'.vidual differ ncc e in thei

perception of and attachment of meaning to life change event

in determining the outcome leve.'l of distre expe rir nc cd t.,'

th. indiv'idujal. Th is research focused on the relationship

be tC', en chree mtr jFure. of p.-r onal it.' factor and ratings

a. irnr d to r he. 'ent of the c -i l -nodi [fied form of the

o c i al PeF dju 3 u s t Pt c ing O ue tionnaire. The puer onal it:

factors th.oreticall related to event perception were locus

of control of reinrf rcemient response to threat and preferred

mod o informant ion p roc s ing. Locus of control of rein-

forcencnt was rea ured bv Fotter's l-E Scale It Wa

hypothesized that sensitization would correlate positivel.-

with event ratings. Preferred mode of information proces-

sing was measured by the Learning Strategies Oucstionnaire.

It was hypothesized that LSQ scores would correlate signifi-

cantly oith event ratings.

In addition, the events .were divided into three group'

based on judged degree of control of the .ubjecE over the

occurrence of the event. The groups were -ubject-controlled.

fate-controlled, and una.s signed. It was hypothes ied that

the occurrence of face-controlled events w.uld threaten an

internalizer'i belief in internal locu; of control in addi-

tion to threat of the event itself Likewise, subject-

controlled events would present a double threat to ex:ternali:er

It was hypothesized that locus of control would correlate

positively with the difference between subject-controlled

and fate-controlled event-group sumi.

These hypotheses i ere tested a survey design with

the subjects being 274 undergraduate students enrolled in an

introductory psychology course

Analvysi of the data show that fourteen of the forty-si::

events have ratings which correlate in the e:pecced direction

with I-E Scale scores Twent.-six of the forty-si:: have

ratings correlating in the expected direction viih F-S Scale

scores. Tie;ntv-one of the fort,-sii. have racing correla-

tirn with LS( c ore in a positive direction. All three

personality factors correlate significanrtl v. ith the per-

sonal average ratings of all forty-six events. These find-

ings confirm the role o locus f cus a trol, respc n e t o

threat, and information processing in deter r. inin the stress-

fulne s of the even s. However, the personality measure

:hi ch correlated most with the difference score baas d on

locu: of control of the .event raS the R-S Scale .sc:or and

not th I-E cale score.

These results are di scussed in relation to current

research and in relation to iome of the major theoretical

models of stress as confirming the role of perception of

and attachment .:of meaning to events in determining the

-everit'. of stres Directions for future research to

reso .ve iss Lue raised b" thi study w,0ere also discussed.



The field of life change and its conc.omitant s tress

has captured the attention of physicians, psychologists,

sociologists. and the la., public alike. There hia been a

marked increase in the number of books and articles pub-

lished in scholarly journals dealing with various r.crhods

and instruments to quantify, the stress, upset, or ad ju -

ment caused by chani ge in the routine lite 1 le. Studies

have fLcused on the stressful effect, of certain. .peci field

changes ac well as of more general life change; Scales

have been developed which assign a quantitativ.e amount of

readjustment or upset tc. each of man.- different "normal"

life changes. Other studies hav-e fr.cused .:n the breadL.d:.n

of normal ph-.s biological and ps,'chological func ic'nirn g.

:,ome have looked at spec ific physiological or ps ho logi al

effects such as heart di-sea se or dJ epresion. wher-ea otcherz

have looked a t general incidence of h .'sical or p ciholo i-

cal s.mpcmrs.

This interest in the potential negative consequences

of too much ch n e, oo f s h as fiil ered to the la' publ i

One of the first books dealing partially iith life changes

was published in 19710 (loffler, 1970). Since that time,

other bool.s have been published for the popular market

prc claiming the need for sn individual to experience large

amount of stress in his/her normal life ( Eel/e, 197-;

Sh eh. 1977). La.' interest in life changes is best evi-

denced b, I s. Sh-ehy' book, [Passa'3 e i:hich is subtitled

Predic table Crise E Adult Li e. and as a national best-

seller. magazine article have .a o approached this sub-

ject. A r-:cent arti:le in a popular men's magazine began

in the fol lowing manner: "Sure, Y. u can handle ta e. s and

di.'orc.- and musgers and inflation. Problem is, you're

:arr' in a r und some fatal y dum b glands that just can't

cope ( 'tafa, 1975. .) Another art icle presented a

self-administer J "s'tr e s test" to help housewiv' deter-

mine their susceptibilit: to : nr ear- uture- lln e .s (Da'.id on,


i .' en the intense professional and 3l a intere st in

life changes and their effect it is inevitable that

mc. thodol g c al c heoretical, and other res-earch pr obl em

arisc. Th- purpose of th.- present stud'.' i to take one

problem, that of indi'.'idua differences in perception and

a i e ning of meaning to life changes, s nd e xpore a poten-

tial a'.'enue for resolution.

The Problem

.ith the develop pment of the Social Readjustment Rating

Scale (S P..R.S. ) (Holm s Rahe 19o j new era of quanti-

tative stress research began. VoJrking from diff rnt

institutions. ar ios groups of r : arcthrc have .-c :plor d

the relationship of life change units to various indicators

of phys ical and/or m nntal i llne One of the m st proli fic

investigators is F. ichard F.,h co-author of the original

S. .P.S. Working frc.m n is position as a C oim.nder in th-

Eiocherical Corre.-lat s i'.'i ion of the U.S. la'.'vy tjeuro-

psychiatric Pesearch Unit in San Diego, Cali f.rni he ra

conducted stud, after stud.' on the effects of life chang e

on the hea l h pa terns of thousands of U.S. V y F.- r S-onnei

In association with other researchers he has in .' t igaC ced

the life change-illness relationship in -ed. n. [enmrar .

and other countries.

While [ r La.he's focus ha b t-n on p h y i l c llne s

Eugene Paykel and hi, asiociat.- ha.,e concerned themiel Js

ior: itch d pr' io n and otn r r psyc holo gi :al /F chi atric


I u m roJu r t u d i h:-a ho n c lear and st a c t tica a

significant corrclat ions between scores on t h S. F .

'or Pa3 kel's scale ( Favkel. P r jsoff, U l 1 en huthh 1 71)

and symptom reports, aid se ing hospitc lizations and

illness of all kinds H ove'.er. uhile t h correlations

between life char.~ e unit (LCJ) scores and illness are posi-

tive and significant. the all1 fall in the range of .12 -.15.

Correlation, thi low are not useful because the" can, at

be t account for 2 or 3': of th. variance of the dependent

meaiure. These results have led som e w rirer t o qui sti on

ierio us l.' the validity : of the S. .. (Fieli au kas W,

197 *; I\er ho. F& einhart l' 74 Hough, Fairbank. & G rc i .

1976; Caplan, 19751.

in an attempt to improve. : prediction from the LCI. scores

to the need for physical and/or psychological aid, investi-

gator- recently have begun to look at the desirabil it of

the change and at personal tIcy factors. A recent article

('.'in kur L S l :er, 1975) concludes that the desira bil it' of

an e,;ent has a crucial influence on the stress produced by

it. Their study. fund that che r-lationship between changes

and illness held for undesirable event but did not hold

for de irable? ones. Another recent stujd, (tlanac:, Ilinricl'-

son, FPo- 1 9" 5 reports dif f renc s i in th r lati on'- hip

betjteen life chan 3e and illne s across the personalit :

Svariable of lo, cus of control.

The pre -' ent t udy will at t mpt to c l rif- f further te he

issue of individual differences in perception c -f life change

c"ent and therefore, inferentiall: in response to them.

Three aFsp cts of "per -n.:nal it ill e a se ed and related,

theoretically and statistically, to ratings given to life

change events meaningful to a college population. The

first of these is a general attitude or orientation to

the world, locus of control. Rotter's (1966) scale focuses

on the decree of control over his/her own life a person

feels she/he has. Whether an individual considers him/herself

a meaningful causal agency in shaping his/her life is hypothe-

sized to have an influence on how she/he perceives and attaches

meaning to "normal" life changes.

A second personality factor hypoEhesized to influence

perception and raring of life change events is one of

response to threat. While not all life changes are threat-

ening, they do make additional demands for adjuostent (or

coping) on the individual. In the sens c that demands can,

and are by some, seen as threats to the status quo, repres-

sion or sensitization as measured bv by.rne's i'1964) scale

should also influence perception of events.

Following the occurrence of the life change. the

individual needs to gather and process information relevant

to his readjustment. The Learning Strategies QuesEionnaire

(LSQ) (Kagan. Krachwohl, Coldterg, Campbell, Schauble.

Greenberg. Danish, Resnikoff, Eowes. & Eondy 1967)

assesses the primary mode of inform ion gathering. "Focus-

ing" involves a search for bits of inforat ion and a

collection of detailed facts, whereas "scanninE" involves

3 more integrative approach tcc constructing 3 coherent,

organized ;iew of the material. It is hypothesized that

primer y mode of information gathering i le rning strategy .

will influence how :treszful or upsetting people consider

certain life changes to be.



This is organized into ix sectionS d aaling

Stith research and theory of life change str ss and with

the specific theoretical and research underpinin nins of

this study. The first section will discuss the ear I his-

tory of the stres- concept and the earliest research. /

second s action will discuss the a tre mpt of Holmes and

Rahe and Paykel to quantify the degree of stres associated

with p cific lif; changes. The third SEc t on .ill Verv

brief ly review.. r e search wiith tho'e in rtrum,-nts an d che

probl ms which h ave arisen. Vollo'i ng thi : a section ill

present briefly the theoric of a number of writer. an J

the organni-ing concept of d nmand. A fifth section -jill prc-

sent th personality. factors u sed in tir c u J t; and the

rationale for their use. The chapter ;'ill conclude ..ith

a statement of the h i;po t h es of thi particular -tudy.

Hi tory and Earl, Research

Early research and theory zing into the rea of physi-

cal and psychological react on. to life change Etressors

began uich che wor of Cannon ( 1 2 ). Cannon succeeded in

building a theory of emotion around data which linked the

occurrences of an emotional: y charged environmental event

to ph ;y biological arou sal. Although i i. o r k con ci -n rated

on determining discretC changes in bodil' function associa-

ted with the specific emotional state- of fear anger, and

anxiet*. tche exten-ion to emotional states caused Drimaril;,

b life change. can readily be made.

Later, Adolf M. e r (Leif. 19-- ) foll o ing a Freudian

tradition of loo i n for childhood anctecedent of adult

ps ychopa c ti log modified b, long 3nd rich clinical ex:peri-

ence developed a "life char ." The chart uL a an overt

recognit ion of the role of stre sful li fe e, ent including

life chang,: in the dc'e: lopiert occur r :-nce and exacerba-

Sion of p '',c ho soj a ic and psy h log i ca d i order The

"life chart," gathered in conjunction with clinical inter-

'ie., tr'uc t red data on important changes in heu life

pacterns of the patient., th .:-re : aid ng in the d iagn:' is.

The first research dealing directly- wiich the cffect-

of life changes or adverse environmental condition- 3us

conducted in the 19 530' y S ye (I z 1 95b an Hin kle and

Wolff and their associates (Wolff. 1950; Hin:le, Conger &

Wolf. 1950; Wolff, Woli, Hare, 1950; Hinkle, Christen-

son, Kane. Oatfeld. Thetford, I Wolff, 1958; Hinkle

Wolff. 1958.. Wolff (1950) discusses che use of short-term

visceral protective devices to ward off threat or stress

from an external source. Hc. eev er, when these short-term

protective dev.ices are used to deal with long-ctrma stre ors

such as major life changes, the result ma be damage of the

"protected" ctrucEures and ,-oliapse of the general devices

themselves. Careful studies of people under cin or having

undergone si ressful life changes (Hinhle & Wolff, 1958;

Hinkle et al. 1958), shou thac the 3a'; a man percei. s hiz

life situation and reacts co it, profoundly influence his

general state of health. Their evidence indicated Ehat at

least orn third of all episodes of disease. regardless of

nature, location, eciolog.', and se'.erixt, are directly" deter-

mined or profoundal. influenced br che reaction Co a person co

his/her environmental situation.

While Hinkle, Wolff and their a ',ci ate .ere apprcach-

ing the problem of stressful life change from an epidemio-

logical -.iewpoint dealing uich broad ranre- of illnessez,

Selve (195 '. was looking mn u h more precisely. at the

phvsiological, biochemical reactions o f la oratorv animals

to specific tre sor such as immersion in ice water, in-

jection with a c ox ic sub c ance, and enforced sleeple ssnes .

As a medical resident, Dr. Sel'e had noted that many minor

physiological and psychological symptoms appeared to be

associated not with the occurrence of a specific disease,

but rather i th the occurrence of an- d i ease, While con-

Jduceing pharmacological research with laboratory animals,

he further noted "Ltandard" change.: in physiological/

bi ochemic l functioning f.. allowing injection. o0 rather

iritp re hoi'rmone. His book (1956 i summarize and re ie ws

a great deal of hi early research with experimental ani-

mala which led to .he iJdent i fcat i r of spec fic glandula

and hormonal changes which occur when an orpaniem is

s r ed.

e.'le .wa able to map a three stage process of adapta-

tion to strei s which involves cth se glandular and hormonal

changes. After determining t hat the clutter of ph' -io-

logical change occurred in man. different animal of dif-

ferent species=, acro-s man' t.pes of stress, he named the

reaction cne General Adap nation S.ndro me I GS I. iWithin hi-

theoretical model, h ich vill be discu sed more full ', bL-

low, stress is seen as jeas ncially the rate of all wear

and tear caused by life" (Sel e, 10c56, p. viii).

The ne:-.t sect ion will detail the d. e lopment of scales

w which attempt to quantify the I mount of str e required b -

specific li fe chan ge Consideration is given to the

a sumpt ion; s inderl. Lng the is.cale a- u -ll a their standardi-

zatiion and .3alidation.

Quantifvinc Life Change Stress

The theorizing and research of men such as Hinkle,

Wolff, and Sel:ye, while pioneering, was largely general

and descriptive. There was no technology available to

all ow one to predict specific occurrences of illness in

individuals following a certain number of life changes.

The development of scales of life changes provided for

the quantification of the ia ount of store s resulting from

each of a number of life change events. This technology,

di;velopEd by Holmes and Pahe (1967) and P3jkel and his

associates (Paykel et al., 197 ), has allowed resi archers

to conduct intense retrospective and even prospect'.'e

studies in an attempt to illuminate the relationship

betw%-een life changes and dysfunction, be it physiological

or psychological.

The developcm nt, testing. and refinement of the Social

Re-adjustment Rating Scale (S.R.P.S.) are chronicled in a

number of articles authored by one ol its developeri and

most he as y user Richard Rahe (1972, 197.). For the ake

of brevity only a brief description of the de '.elop nt

will be given belou.

The S.R.R.S., also called the Schedule of Recent Experi-

ences (S.P..E.), began with careful observation of the role

of recurring life changes in the readmisi ion to the hospital

of pacienct suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis (Hawol ins,

Das i.c Holmes, 1Q57). In research conducted o.-er five

distinct medical 5ji ndro mne and cue .control groups, the main

factor differentiating the patience bho relapsed from chose

who did no c 3as the cemporal p actern of social s1 res -.e

in the cen Years prior to illness onsec r (Rahe, ,levy r, Smich,

Fjaer, Holmes, 196-). In chis stcud the in c e. tiga corps

used lth 5. F.E., a list of f or c -chr e events found to

frequen ly proceed che onset f :imp r.oms There wa how-

e"er, no differenciation among E[h e-.'encs on an:, "scr e ful-

ness" Ecale.

Shorctl following chis s;uJ.,, Holme a nd Rshe (196 )

had a 3 n, ple c'tf nor -als rate the am unt of

read j us ten c required b each c"ent using a ratioi-s ailing

rci hnique. The Subjeccs ecre inscru-ced tnat social readjust-

menc a ai con ept. con sis s f "- moun and duracion of change

in on s a.c- u tomed p r c rn of life resulting from v.,ar ious

li fe c.ents. A~ defined ocisl readlju ctmen measures the

inEcns ic, and length of t ime necessary cO 3.:commodate to

a life even regardless of the desirabilitc of the e' ent

(p. 213, emph ji is in .. riginal, Subjects t re asked d to usai

cheir c.perience s and the ::perienc c of others T'noin to

chm cto deri.'e the aj.-eragc degree of necescscrY read jucament

neccesics a ed by each cv. nc. iUsing che ra io scaling tech-

n q u e d el oped by e '.'ens I.l1 '' the u r ho r c S t che

..alue of marriage at 500 "lif change units." The,' processed

the ratings by calculating the mean for each item and divid-

ing by 10 to yield the S.R.R.S. (Holmes & '.fah 1967 It is

of note that :th invsti4ators tool. care to avoid the influ-

ence of desirability in the de r i. c i o n of "life c change unit"

(L.( .LU. ,i;ghtc for each event. This issue will be dis-

cus e: d fourth r b lo w.

Othcl r in,.. tiga Ltors addressed the quest ion of the degree

to whicl. rating of the S.R.F.S. e ents were culture bound

or idiosncracic to each ethnic group. Early researic by

RA-li, Holmes, and their as scciates (lasuda & Holme. 196 7

l'6maroff, Masuda, & Hc.lmes. 196 b : P ah 1969; Harmon. M as.uda.

& Hclmes 1 :69 Rahe, Lundberg. Pennett Th.orell 1971

generated rank order correlat ion for thi ratings for

American Japanese Black imerican Mle :ican ,'inm rican .

Dane Swedes and other 6roup M'lch of this research is

adrcit i. cumimarized by Rahe I 1972 107 ) and, for the akeI

of brevity will not t b repeated here. Suffice i to a.,

that co rrelat ion u call y fall within the range f rom to

.98, indicating a hiPh decree of cror.- -cultural agreement

in the rank-ordering r n f the fo rty-t t three event More recent

in.vestigations show hiegtly i gnificant correlations betwe-.n

the- racing of the origin31 Holmes and P 3h e ( 19 7 1 sample

and those of flew Zealandera i sherwood L sdair, '1 .6 and

tho s of Cuban exil c ("a Ide Baxter. 1976).

While widely, used and stand ardized the S. F.R.S. is

nut without limitations. Some of the lim itation,: have been

Jiscussed by Cochrane and Roberteon 1 73. Houch and hi

a.c ociat e; (Hough, Fairban & Gar:ia, 19 76. and Rahe him-

elf (1974 i Th Ie limitation s often relatine to the issue

of de- irabilit', of th event ha e.' led to the d ivelopment

of at ieamt t w o addit ional c al e of tre c ful life t e encs.

B.S. bohr:.nw nd (1 i 31 b h-earn with an attempt to nco rpo-

rate de .irahbilic into the .R. S. in the -- edi a in r

Concepts of gain and loss. ohr -nurend d -.'- loped a mi chod for

incorporating lo'' event' into the L.C.U. total and c lud-

ing gain events. Tan index. has been used su cc i jf u ll by,'

M ,:er and his -, a s citests (Mer Lind-nthal & Pepp r 1 7 -.'.

A more e:c.ten ive revits on of the S. .R. S uwa undertaken

bv* Pa-kel and colleagues (Paykel et al, 197L; Pa:ket &

Utl.- nhuth, 1072). Where ro.ahe was concerned primarily with

so ai c ma3nif a c i on of tre e P a 1'el an his col leagues

were concern J primary with ps- h ,ol ica di order, e -

pe. is ll depre-'s ion. Pa-k el Pr u off and Lilenhuth 197 1

rea -oned that ri :, t p s cho1log cal!p s ch, atric disturbance is

related clouel', co le"el of perceiv.'e distress Thu the

desirabilit', of a :hanrce becomes a ver',' important determinant

.: f overt di o rd r E hr.:ugh it c: 10o-e ion hip with degree

of perceived d is tre The' recognize that while desirable

events may necessitate drastic changes in the life routine

of an individual. undesirable events usual l, nvol-ve re-

adjustment plus an element of threat--especiall, to the

individual's self-esteem (Pakel ec al.. 1 717 ).

Cons.eq until 'y, Pyk:el modified some of the items on

the original S.R.R.S. to separate desirable from undesir-

able responses. For example, the S P..R.F. item dealing with

increase or dccre3se in arguments with spouse was searatred.

He further recorded or qualified other ,.,ent I leading to a

scale of 61 events as opposed to Holmes and F.ahe's I 19 3

events. In order to incorporate desirability into the rating,

Payel. asked his subjects Et rate each event on the degree of

ur s c produced. The exact instructions were as f olow s:

Below i"s a list of events that often happen
to people. We w.,uLld 1i1: .'ou to think about
each event and decide how up etring it i .. Use
cour own experience and hac ou kn :w about other
people to make .our decision. A particular event
might be more upsetting to ~ome people than to
others. ir. to think how upsetting the e.'nte would
be to the a .erage person. (Pa.y el et al., T] ,
p J40 )

Unlike Holmes and a3he's 1(1 7 subje Lc P :. kel e

a1's i1971) subjects did not have sr anchor e.'ent. Their

subjects were asked rath'_r to rate the degree of upect

resultant from each of the 61 events on a scale from 0 co

3O. Even though there is. a quee tcon as- to he-ther such a

procedure would generate j ratio scale of unitr i.Ste'vens,

1966), it produced racinas whi:h w ere correlated r, ode r te l.

with ch*- original l S. F.R .S. ihe c c rrela 3 i n f:r the 14 items

with 1id ntical ',ordin; to those c.f the, original S.F .S. i'as

r=.6P 3 Pa**kel et al., 1971).

Furcher rresc rch, (Pavt.l U hl nhuth .1972 cc.ntinued

to refine the S cr. s-ful Life Er nt s In'.'-ntr.-.rv -, introdu-

cin,g tcle c:onc pt of m ov-Tem nt inc ocr out of the i ndivid ual'

p- V C h -. L C cial f i Ild. The. h tpothe-1 siz d that e:.:its ou I. d be

more ,up. tt i n and anr anal '. i of ra ins v i en different

i v nt bor th iE Cut. M1 cre recenrc tud u d i rave shown a

hi h n um, b.r of e .:it e ernts. to be pr dict i'.' o f uj cida d. -

Fpressi on as c omT pared to o c h er de pr. sion, *'. n :h -n tc o 1

scor o:n che inv-ntor, ar concr.:llI d (Fay -l, F'ru- i ff,

11, er 1475 Pa' el I 1 4 ) p r n.- nt a tI- rou 'h summ ar

and re'.' Vi- f uch ,,f t he rc i arc in ti- d.-'.~ I.pme nt and

Se .:f t tre ss ful Lifr E*.' n c Invent rv.

Currerr, P esarch and Froblemr

Tiher ,j r nuimerurcu r .' iew s and compF ndi a cf rese arch

Lnt t he r i a r ionsh p bet u- e n l if ch3an.e sctr e s and ill-

n e-i - bot psv c ho oi*ai and phy' ical I Colema 1'i" ; E'.S

P t'.P. D'iohren end 194 ; G jnder-o n Rah- 1 7 ; Leev.ine &

scotch, 1 97 ; Pa e. 1 72). The f oll.:) ing r eview, thus. .ill

summari: '..-ry' br ief l r search jone anJ rd ill m:c.'e to' an

e:. examinationn of problems. o t h m etl odod 1 o l and tcho l retical.

Holmes, Rahe. and their numerous colleagues in the U.E.

and abroad have spearh-eaded research into the relat ionship

between life changes and ph'isical illness (T. Holinme ;

Holmes, 1970; kahe 19-9, 1972, 1974 ; Fahe & Arthur. 1969

Rshe Cunderson. & Arrhur 1970: T.II. Holmes & tlasuda, 1 I )

Other invest; actors h a.'e on firmed the e istence :f a

stati stic al I ignrificanr t r lacti a c.n hip bet ,,e-n L. U -I res

on the .R.S. and ariou_. m -easures of i 1 n e- behav ior

including aid- ee-king bic li auskas 1.ebb IQ I' pati rcn

sta tu (Dekker & ic bb. 197 :. Inham & l l i r .- 10 ,; 7 i ller,

Ineham. & Davidson, 1 97: ), and c.mpl e i c a t to an r L ts in

condition '( uckolls i:a ei & .aplan. 1972 Thus. thi

evidence i c ear t 1 at here c:is X c a s t at C ic L i I'.' g ni-

ficant correlation b ct,.een l ife :ch an. treee and ph:,' i al


Pak el and his colleagues, alone ri ch l eOr U: i Erot,.n

and hi; a ss~c' atc c hiave c cnducted e:.: c i iv e r -'earch int o

rhe r lationshlip bectween life crhan e stress a rd psych l atr i c/

ps h.:,r l og ic a di order t:um.' rou' -i u cudJies Focusing :Tn ci e

,ffect on general p y: hiat3 ric ~ catus or enrtal Ii a Erh of

-. strc ful life c h-arng s h e sh a n a ain cl ar e.'id n c

for a .-orrelation betc-een lif c change and ps ychiacric,'

ps.'cholog ical s .nmptomatolo g (bell, \l arb: ic. & Hol er 19 5:

E rkman 1969 ; L-irl 19 ;: Lroin. l T: Eroi n 6 Birl '.,

19g ,., : Eroi n., ,kl r Hartis.6 3iirle ,', 1" 7 3; F:.,er -. Lind nc t, al ,

P Pepper, 1971, 1974; 11Hyer Lindenthal, Pepper p Ostran-

der 1972; Smith, 1971, WildmI an, 1 7-; Holzer, 1 977). Studied

by Pask,' l and his colleagues h aie Iocus d on the effect of

life hanged stres; on depress ion (Pay','el 197-; Faykel. I ers,

Dienelt, Elerman, iindenthal. L Ppper, 19t,.: Paykel et al.,

1971; Fa .kel, 1 IHl.ars, 1975: Paykel L Tanner. 197b).

Rece n research has dlso. begunr to fuicus Ln an-:ierLe and

related seated resulting from life charge e Lauer 11973;

conducted a cros--culcural study cf Americans and Britons

; which found =ignificant relat onships between life change

core 5 and scores on the T lor Ilanifest Anxiety c Ca1e.

D~l. 1 r and Webb. (197 -) found similar results correlating

S.R.R.S. and T.H..A.S. scores for b.'th patients and "normal"

control s. Reavlei 1 974 ) found er:, high correlatic n be-

tteen, S.P.R .. s or e anrd mani fes any -:ie c and a measure of

state an ::iet, in a .samp of British ubje cts. :1 rgan 19771

found a similar, aiChoucli attenuated relationship using a

sample of .Ameriran uni .er sirc situde n ts and the college -

mcd fied u form of t .R. F. .

Hu.owe-er despite evidence -jhich strongly confirms the

construct v'al di ty of life change scales, there has been

frequent and mounjting criticism m r I rhe scales as screening

de i c e Uhile a num. er of artl:1e. ha focused on m e hodo-

logical criticismS, a larger number have. focused on the is.-ue

of unique perc, option o f e ent by each individual and the re-

sultant s atis cic l r i se in the s. te m.

On metho.dological grounds, Grant, Gerst. and Yager

(1976) criticize the use of the S.R.R.S. with psychiatric

patient populations. The, report a study comparing the

scaling of life events by a sample of pschiar ric patients

and a sample of normalss." The results were that, while

the tuo groups agreed on the rank ordering of events vell,

there was a moderate difference in the actual numbers used,

with |psychiatric patients giving higher magnitude racing

to most ..f the events, especially those of a mar ial-famil'.

or personal nature (Grant et al. 1976). These data raise

a question concerning the cress-cultural scaling of the

S.P..E.S. conducted by Eahe and his associates in which the

high correlations reported are rank order correlationn and

product moment correlations are not reported.

Other methodological studies have addressed other

issues. Biellauskas and .ebb (1944) report differences in

the correlation of S.R.R.S. scores and aid-seeking when

cwo different methods are used to obtain the S.R.R.S. total

score. A second study (Bieliauskas u Strugar, 1976) ex-

amined the effect of sample size on .E.E. .S. scores and

their relation to aid-seeking. The results indicated that

the power of S.R.. .S. scores to discriminate aid-seeking

from non-aid-seekinp individuals decreases as the size of

the sample decreases from H1=253 to =;53. In explaining

these results, the authors suggest chat individual med ating

fact.arE s which h ma at tenuate the degree of the S ..P .

aid- ee. ing behavior relationship m a well assume more

importance in smaller sample where random distribution is

le ; liiIelI to cause their cancelling out of each other

I E i iau s ; ,a Strus r, 1976).

Hudeen ( l 7 'i) re ie,'.' a reat dea l of Jata h ich

suJcge t ,tron l th ta t he retron pective design of mor-t

life change -tudie- is i adequate. He reciommenJ that

retro-pecti,.e -tud ies be topped and chat attempts be made

to r o unt large lon i tudinal -tudjie .. which look not only, at

th relation hi p of life change to i Ine s, but alo : at

the c' iane in s c aln of t m a influenced by illness

.- :perience (Hud en. 1 .

Fo ibl the ronz; e t ia thodoloci: a critic i ; m of

the S.R.R.S. and it use i s centered on ba a i p i',':hometric

procedure i Hou h F airtb nk, L arcia, 1976 1. The:. e xamine

the devel opment of the 'c le. Hou.e.'er although they con-

i der it 3 iaudat tle atte pt to quant i f a c omple phenomenon.

the, tron l '., criticize three major aspec t of the sca l

and it u e. The' d i -,Cu ; the rel1 t i\e lac f ,of effort

and concern for the careful c:n tructi on and ad mini- ration

of the in-trument. They s ee the u -- of ranrl order correla t on

in the c r :.s-c u tur ji 1 calling to be a lo ing .:,ver of valid

cultural variation. Finally, the frequent ue of ron-para-

metric analr icnl ic tatt L Ei ..: it h th- ratio scal e data produced

bL the in.itrumt ent i: ta ted to be an inadequa e u C of the

Despite these methodological criticisms of the instrument

and its common use, the S.R.R..S. and Faykel 's counterpart

scale continue to be used wi h increasing frequency as

epidemiClogical and screening cools. However anocr er

criticism of a more theoretical nature, has limited somewhat

the use of the S.R.R.S. and has led to a new t ,p c f study

utilizing the S.R .F.S. This ype of ,study h3as focu-ed direct : I

or, the 1 ue of desirability and/or individJu l i fferen:es in

the perception of life change events.. Two studies ha3e looked,

further, at personality as an important dimension either

mediating be. v een l i e change an illness or determining

to a certain extent the percep ion of the events thenmse '.'e a.

lw. of the earliest studies of life chanpee and their

effects used. as subjects, groups of people uho had all

experienced the same, traumatic changes in their li'.es

( Hinkl et al., 1958 Hinkle 5 IJolf.1 195 : Hinkle. 197- .

These studi es report t at the I ay the individual perceived

and attached meaning to the event a more accurate pre-

dictor of illness chan the actual evenEs chEr .- .'e The

author s report that those people uho perceived he ev.'entc

as more challenging, more demanding and more confli c -laJen.

were those wro showed a greater frequency of illnfe s follow-

ing the events- Hinkle et a3 ., 10l S ; Hinkle UoLff, 195, .

Hinkl 197 '. Ih es- Eudi point tco'ard a c onst li action

of personality and/or perception factors which strongly

influence the experiences of some indi who have

lived through trauwatic personal and social changes.

t!ore recent studies have addressed the issue of per-

ception from other vantage points. Hudgens. Robins, and

Lielong (1970) gathered daca on life changes from 60 hospi-

taliz:ed psychiatric pat encs and 103 relate i.e-informants.

All subjects uere questioned about life changes in eleven

areas of daily life using the sa e interview schedule.

The results showed only 5 percent r te of --greenent on

actual events of the paciencs and their informants. Fur-

ch r. in esimi ting the effect of agrecd-upon e.ents on

the psychi i tric illness the patient group attached much

more significance to the ev''e n. than the informants (Hudgens

et al 1970). These finding s call into question the '.alidlity

both of recrospective designs and of the use of "standard"

ratings .a events.

Moorehea d 1 9 ) a asked 31 black and white college

student- to rate the e vent of t he Sc ial and Coil i a t

F e a justmenc Scale. Signifi .:ant differences were found in

the perception of the events betwi een the Fur her,

there L er; s icn fican differences in the events chosen tb

each group as ones which would induce them co seek aid from

u counselor. An alysis of the group using the F.otter I-E

Scale -hoi ed that blacks race more stressful and more likely:

to induce aid-seeking, events which vere externally oriented,

whereas the whites rated most stron gl events which were

internally oriented An analysis of the total sample by I-E

showed significant differences in the ratings af 15 of the

47 events on the scale :loorehead, 197_4'.

Further empirical confirmation of the findings reported

by Hinkle and his colleagues is found in Thurlow (19 71 ,

Vinokur and Selzer (1975J and Yamamoto anJ Kinne'. (1l76).

Thurlou's data raise the string possibility that a pEr-on's

perception of an Event may be of greater importance in

determining the number of subsequent illnesses than the

actual occurrence of the ev'.ent 1'"'l ;'inokur and -L l:er

19751 used a modifi d life events checklis.c Their find-

ings ind icate that i i le accu ula tion of life events r Ias

correlated with tension, distress and emotional Jisturbances,

this relationship held true only for undesirable events The

authors conclude that the desirabilit attached to an event

may be more important in d t r m inin psychological distress

than the readjustment necessi ted b'L the e,.en s (Vxnokur a

e zer, 1'97..'.

Yamamoto and I'nne:. 1976'e report a -sC'dy focused on

the ratings of life events by pregnant e imen and tch rating

of events' influence on th ir pre gn an.. Their results

indicate that using a person's o.,n ratings or mean ratings

from groups ;ver similar to the n d i dual is a crucial step

in making the life evcnt c cale more en .4itive. In this

stud',, desirability of the event was j houn to be a ver y

important factor in accounting Eor the difference hc twee

subjEct i idiosyncratic ratings and the :st ndard rating,

(Y'3amao n o o i Ki nn c.. 197 ).

A_ an attempt to incre a e the sensitivit:. of S.R.F.S.

prediction without direct l addressing the i ue cf de i r-

abi li y, a number of studies have looked at an iety, in

vari ou forms, as a mediatin state bet,,een the actual life

change even and the onset f il lines. Sc uded b'.' Lauer

S1973 F. ea;l (1917- and 11or an (19771 i ha-.e sliown marked

incre a e in correlat onc from rch o e between S .P. .S scores

and i ln e c o those bet we cn 5. R.. i ore and mn e a u r

of an:: iet ,. I n f li ghc l d ife rent track Wa11 ( 19')

looked at the m, diatin e f c c of ego-functioning on the

life chanr e-il Ines relationship. U ing t1w. scale of

ego-functi n ing and the i ornell Medical ndcx to measure

illness, he f :. und the relationship p to be t. er complex and

non-linear. H:...e'.er, there ,ere sign ficart interact ion

of S. R.S. it h each of the measures of ego-functioninr g

* ihich point to per :onolog ical differences in response to

life chn e e ent ;. He ugg ts that ego-L nv.ol ement as a

factor ,ma aff e c c the h r e ; hold t w'hic h life change event

result in sympc m r (Wall. 19' -).

A recent exchange of articles typifies the concern of

researchers and theoreticians concerning the role of percep-

tion in determining response co life changes. Wershow and

P.einhart (197 ) report 3 study:. employing the S .P. S. as

related co patient hospicatli:a ion. negativee re-sult- in

the study led them inco a general cririque of the S.R.F.S.

which, although having made some good point reached some

erroneous conclusion- (Wersho.u Feinhart, 1Q7-). Ai

Caplan 1 751 clearly elucidaite one r. mu t ho .. his sa 3e p e

to be clo i sel similar co the standard before the

use of the standard w'eighc are appropriate. Further,

there is e'.'idence to sJu g.c thac life change unic .;eight-

ings of evenc- differ from one person to another and char

the person's .wn ratings of thie e .' en a r more predict ive

of future illness than the standarJ rating.. A-ide from

differences in rating; -oJe .-'ents. due to their natur.-

as e. i ts fron the social field or a trau r at icall y urnde ir-

able, are more predictive of illness than cth.-rs ICaplan,

1 7 Thus. Caplan '19751 ce:ncludes chac the Sc.F..F..

can be uzed effectively' in research but must be used *jitn

special consideration given to the limitacione discussed


In an atcre pt to limitations of the 5.R. .

based on the .ariat i..n in individual perception of or

respcnse to event Ianack. Hinric'isen. nd Jo (1975)

co nduc ted a si tu dy w which incl uded an a ss sment -f one

persona li t dim ns ion thought rel e ant t.:. life change

stress. Th .: uth or_ :examine chan, es in the r .lati n hip

between life changes and illness acro. s the pcrs -na li c,

factor o.f io cu af control l fr reinforcement acr : condi-

tions of m.:.derate and e tremne i if changes. R.esul t

bhoj ed. a clear, si ni ficant di ff renc e tet :-e n internal zer

an d e t r n a i : er s under c ond ition- : f 1 o3i. t c. mode rate i fe

changes In this inst ance, Ehe intecrnal i- rs sho -. d much

1 s i llnc.:. than the : t ernali- ers Ho e;e r. r, u ider c .n-

i tions of e:. tree life change, the di f fer enc between

in t rnj izer r and e:-.ternal i ers d- s ppear d I ljanack.

Hinrick ien F o.s : I '2 '. Al th.:ugh this t ud, ; s .'owed a

- i nif icjant e fect cf per on l i t in th, l fe change -i l nesi

relat ionship, it cann :or ans .:; r the qu c t ion of ',here the

d i I f rence c -xists uo intern li : ers pierce ei e the bas; c

life chance e'.'ent differ ently from e:-tern li:er th re h

leading t.:. a d offer nt r lat i n-h p i ti h llne s E Or do

int rnal zers perceive e the ev.ents- similarly but res p .:nd

to th m di f feren 1c The pre sent stud .' will attempt to

addJ r -- i thi q u -esti on b-: :c ud i';n :-ne pro ce i n e pnd ent

.f the .:th er.

Theoretical models and 'oncept of Demand

Although considerations of space prevent a full

exposition of the many theoretical models of life change

stress and itt relationship to ph'Cical and psychological

breakdoi, n, thi section will present an outline of five of

the major models and an exploration of the central conc -pt

of demand. The reader desiring a more detailed and intri-

cate development of the theoretical m1 del is re,-f rred to

the original sources noted below. While Selye's model is

primarily physiologicaii y oriented and derived from research

on animals, the othersfocus on and deri'e fr.omr research

concerning the physical and psychological effects of life

stress an humans.

Selye (1c56, 1i97 i9 5 1 co ncept ualizes stress es -n-

tially as a demand for acti.'ity on the part of the or anism.

The occurrence of a stressor any no:.-. us situation to which

the organism must respond. et it n motion a t hr e stage

reaction. In the first f e mom nts following application

of the store sor, specific physi 1o o ical and biochemical

reactions take place w.. which resemble the defensive physio-

logical react ions to physical trauma. Thus. this stage is

called the Alarm React ion. If the str ss p rsists over

cime, the organism enters the Stage of Resistance which is

characterized by physiol egical react ons E;as ntiallvy ppostic

to thois of the first stace. Thi stage is associated

..jith a marked ele .ated resistance to disease and ph. siolo-

gical dy functions. It seems to represent the organismr's

attempt to cope with the stress s by accrommiodatxng to it.

When the accommodation of the second scage fails and the

stress per iLst, for a long period of tine the organim

enters the Stage o:f EA haust ion. This final stage is charac-

terized tb Fphysiological and biocheir cal reactions resem-

bling tho e of the larm Reaction. P er istence rof this

stage leads to p h iol .g ical dysfunction and the eventual

death of the -reanii-m. This three stage reaction is called

the General .-daptation Syndrome a; it occurs in response to

an.' stre sc r internal or e'Xternal p h ic a 1 or p ycholo-

gical in nature- Es'entiall, then. scre consi-ts of

the u ear and tear .on the body' a a rt- ult of continuouj-

internal and environmental demands for adjusti'.'e activity

o:n the part of the organism (5 el e, 1956, 1 7 -, 1 75).

E.P. L,-.hrenv end 119611 a attracted and modified Sel e'_

theory in applying it to hun an He a ssert four main

elements in,.'i. lved in strEcs itu- ation-: 1) an antecedent

strcssor, 2' conditioning or rediaring factor sjch as

climate or diet whiicr increase cr decrease the impact of the

strcs or. 3 the General Adaptation Syndrome ot non-specific

ph' iscal and chemical changes, and cthe consequent adaptive

responses of the organism to the it[3ation. The stressor

is defined as any agent that produces stress. The media-

ting factors consist of internal (self-prescriptive) and

external (societal) constraints to a course of action

called for by the stres-or. The subjective experience of

tre ss is a state inte rve ning betw e n the ant ced ent con-

straints and consequent efforts to reduce constraint and

adapt to the stressor event or situation. The genersl

paradigm involves the stressor and mediating factors inter-

acting to produce stress which inpells the General Adapta-

tion s ndrome, and acEion. which m a be adaptive or mal-

adaptive, oriented toward reducing coni traint and meeting

the demands of the atressor (b.P. [ chrenu nd, 1961).

Howard and Scott (19 65, Scot & Howard, I'Tr) point

out that physiological models of tr ess, such as S ely 's,

cannot account for the incricai ies of psychological and

sociocultural phenomena in humans. They corceptuali:e

stress, anJ human functioning in general, in problem-

solving term A problem is "any condition which is posed

to the or an ism for solution" (p.14. 1 )). Two assu:npt i o:ns

underlie the vis'. that h umran fjun.tioni ng is pro bii m-sol .in c

First, a human is comfortable only when he has reduced all

environmental and self-induced threats to a minimum. Second-

1 ,', when a human e:.perienc c s a threat in one cr more of its

environmental fie lds he is motivated to reduce the threat-

In essence thi model a jme a em s a d ina mic equ ilibriumr in

threat-free -.nv.ironmental f i I d a d a d 1 equ ilt 1 riu

in fields *ihich contain a chreat. The or anism, then, is

mot ii t d to a r ain d ,na iiric equili b rium in al l envirionr men al

f i I .

TIh thrE ats or Jemands miad E r .pon the ind ividual can

SriSe in four po s ible : 1I probl ,ms carn be posed co

the ind '. i ual front, his' o n internal ( ioch em cal ) en ,ir :n-

nent. 2) probl ems can be posed from tch individual's e -v' rrnal

ph ,.-ical en.. ironn enc. 3. problems can be posed from the

indiidua o-wn psicholog cal en' ironment, and -I' problems

can be p.:ed f ron the in Ji vid a l's 3oc i c ul tural ir lieu.

Thus., pr ble' rs can be posed a3 an internal or e : t:rnal

st -imulu in a .'m. i lic or ncon-symbholic dimen ion For the

eff orts at3 prohle -solv. ing to result 1 C n m3s er .', thr e con-

J i i:n mu t t.e u e met Fir Th individual must have. an

3a.qu ate 'uF pl o f energy. ;c on d, the indi'.' idual must

h the g- neral and specific resource necessary for the

r r blem' rt -olut : i n Third, the problem imust be f ormulated

in su c h- a ay tha t is i S sol vab le G i'.en these cond i ions

he i n d i idual s r e ponse can take oneon of three f rmE:

a ssrrci'..';, i er ent, or inert. nl\y thi th f r c o f .hlich can

lead r. true mastery.

tl a .r t o.f the problem leads tc. reduction in ten ion

and r es e s bl i ; h rn r o f Ehe d yn amic e u il ti ti urm in the f field

of q u t c ion Add ti onal "the I a e of t he o rg an in 11

be superior to its state prior to the time it was confronted

with the problem" (p. 149). If the same problem arises

again. the organism will solve it more quickly and ulth

less expenditure of energy, analagous to the body's in-

creased immunity to a disease contracted and from which it

has recovered. Thus, a person' problem-solving efficiency.

is proportional to the degree of previous demands and suc-

cess at solving these demands.

Failure to achieve mastery results in the generation

of tension. Part of the erosion comes directly from the

disequilibrium remaining after unsuccessful problem-solving.

An additional measure of energy mTust also be ex.:pend d in

binding and maintaining the scatu g qu. of the remaining

tension. This double e::pendlture of energy necessitate;

the individual being in a constant rtate of mobilization.

To the e:-:C nt that e-:cess. maintenance pension e:::stC the

individual is said to he experiencing stress. The cnse-

quences of this continuing stress are maladapti.v beha.ior_

and physical and pF ,chological d-,-function tHoward 6 Scott,

1965: Scott & Howard, 1970).

In hi- article reviewing a great deal of the research

into the life scres -illnesc rel3tionshi p, Coleman I1.973

also presents a theoretical model of scress and the person'-

reactions to it. He defines stre; as the adjustive demands

made upon the individual and delineates chree cy.pes of stre-s

fru rationn. con lict and prEsure It is pressure

which forces the individual to speed up and/or intensity

hi efforts at adjustment and which is mo t incr.-i ed by

the f a st-pa ced tempo of mo)Jern li fe Str es in huMasn in-

volv.=. bcth psychological and ph:,siolo gical functioning.

The several ',' of che c ress, and cEipecially he pressure,

involves the amount of ds rupt ion in the gi v n E ,.stern Which

uill occur if tihe i nJi i idual ai to i i Ce t the d ju ; c ive

dem a n d placed upon him.

The s.everit, of the str es i det c rmi n, d prim arily'

b., thrc factors: "the chara t r c of he char erif he adj u- tive

decm nd, ch c:haractceri tic c of the dual, and the x-

c rnal resources and support available co himn" p 17 1).

Characteri-tics of ch e tr s situ .a ion include the impor-

tance. .ur action, and mi ul1tipl cic of the a Jjustiv- e deJ mand

made on thi. individual. The more important the event i .

the lone r the e re operate; and the m ore stre e the

individual et perienc e concurrently, th greater '.ill t' the

experienced s ver it', of s.trcrti i .o, other characterictic-

of the sitc ua ion that can af fect the ev ritc.' of the strer s

are thE f3r.iliaritv/unfamiliarit y of the event and the effect The more n fami iar and le E antici-

pated a demand, the tr. orc vere ill be the s tre s. P ra-

idin. o.ccu rs wr en other e a gradual uildup of r lati L 1

insignificant dJensnds which summate over time to produce

St re : o f creat s n'. r .

The characteristics of the individual are also of kr:

importance in determining the severiE, of stress. Of speci-

fic relevance are the individual' stress toleran e and the

uay he perceives the stress situation S ress tolerance

refers to the general degree of stress that a person can

tolerate without resu ting dy function an a also includes

"wii spots" of high susceptibility to specific stressors.

The individual's pc'rception of th., d.: rce of Ehreat in the

situation has much importance in determ niing severity :f


The thirJ factor determnin ing s e erit of str. is

the external suppcrtr or resources s available to the indi-

vidual. When an individual lacks resources, either inter-

personal or material, this fact would usual ly produce an

increased severity of stress and diminish the person's

ability to cope with the stress siLt'ation. The fam ily has

been thought to be a prime resource for the individual which

is either a .ailabl e or only part ial available for him

According t to thi s m od l v e p: e w i t h tr er on hr.,

levels. On the biological [e el we have built-in damage

repair and immunoi gical s y teams. O'n the psy:ch-ol iical

Ievl. we h a v: uilt-tn Jd [ n.- i ve nm- hbanisms. On the socio-

cult ural level j e have int e r p r sona individual and group

resources such as marital partners and labor unions avail-

able to us The biology ical m chanLisms eem to op rate iltnh

minimal learning. Specific reactions included here oou.ld

be faiintine in the face of a traumatic event the disaster

syndrome, and t he stage in the acceptance of death. A

second type of psychological m cchan im i the learned coping

pattern which i; task oriented. The.e reaction- typically

inc ude rational and constructive decision-making and

pr c. ler -- solvingg skills and strategies. The third type of

psyc lh logical m echani-., is the defense-oriented reaction

1,hich con i.sts large ly of the ego defense mechanisrims such

as repression, denial, projection, and reaction for action.

These last reaction: are seen 3: learned in order to defend

che individual from -cre- wh which might other r ise result in

physical andlor p :.y holo ica I d : function.

The s.uc ess :f che s coping patterns c n be evaluated

in terms o adapt ive and maladapt i. e hb havior (this includes

ph, lo o ical and psychological reiponn ise and reactions).

Even successs fiul adapcat ion to -s re-i requJire a pay.menet.

There is a temporary, lo,'ering of adaptiv.e ffectI i'.'nest

during adaptation. T h i r make the indii'. dual mI ore acute.l

su-ceptib e to other stres. t also makes th- indi'id ual

more rigid in his choice of and use of different, alterna-

t i e c hoping res ponses In addition, e .,en ucce s [ u adapta-

tion involve ,ear and tear on the physi'. cal and p'-,cholo i-

cal :v.. tem of th ,z person, ais J e cribed h 'y S, 1e e i see abo e).

However. u r'. i'.'i n and adapting to tre: can increase the

total adjust i' e rie.ourc es f I: h individual ( Cle~ an, 1973)

The last model to be presented here was proposed by

Rahe et al.(197 I Based on his past research, .ahe has

constructed a model of life stress and illness utilizing

the principles of optics. Different intensities of life

change, expressed in life change unit scores, are repre-

sented by light rays of different intensity. These rays are

altered as they pass through the 'p la r i z ing filter of the

individual's past experience, which may slter his perception

of the importance of certain of the events. The altered

rays then pass through a "negative len." representing the

individual's employment of certain defense mecanisms

such as denial which "diffract av a3:' the impact of certain

of the experienced events. The light rays (life events)

which remain activate a myriad of p hy;iological reaction

These ica reactions are then modified by a "color

filter" which ab oorrbs ome, by fffectEi', copin. anrd pasz

some on, by not coping with them. The model assure that

prolonged, "unabsorhed" phTy~iol ogic 1 reaction 1 ill result

in dysfuncti.on of the given organ s ,stem. and bo:dilv disease.

The d ,sfunc ti on .may be perceived by the person as a bodily

symptom and, once this happens, the person may :or may not

con ult a physician regarding the symp om(s). This is

translated into a medical diagnosis on the "illness rule"

of medical records, which are often the dependent mea-,rr .

Thus the life eve' nts which occur are med L:ied by the

individual's percept ion, past e perience psychologic .a

defense coping i ith specific phys.olog ical reactions.

attention to bodily I ymptcomsc nd tEnde, ncy to consult a

phy sii ain before demons trab l llnc- e b h a v ior" is -c en

(-.ahe e t al., 197 ). Thi process o rmedi t ion is under-

lied b'. the concept of readjustment Stre s is seen as

the read justmert inn r indi dual's routinc necessitated

by the life chance vent iith n consideration of d i r-

ability as an important dimension (Holmes & F.ahe, 1 67).

Despite Jifferences in many aspect: of the theories

pre r -ented above. the re i a com rimon element of demand repre-

siente d in all. For S l 1 e 1 5 the, demrand is a de rr,nd

for acL i.iL ,- on the p Tart f che organism. The demanded

activity, i_ th.e Alarm i on as t c first reaction to a

sctre sor For Ho'ard and SCL tt I' l9t5' d:iman. is se n a5

the disequi I tt. rium ijhi ch arise from pro blems being p -oed

in one of the ind ividu al'. . en.iron mental fields For

Colema n i 1973 1, t r c -. i adju i.e demand, and for F.ihe

and h i re earc h a oL at e. I ahe 1 7 : Pahe e a .3 1

Stres;. re ults from the demand for s.C iil readj us meant.

RFesear:h b:, Fa ., l and his a ;o:iates-, cited earlier, has

-hown that ex:its from th s-ocial field present not only d -

m and but a threat t.: ; 1 lf- e te m E- hic h i hi lhly related

to depress o i n (Fa. y k. 17 ) .

However, the single concept of demand cannot adequately

account for the strecn-illneis relationship. There is scill

the problem of individual differences in tht relations hip

hetw.een life changes and illness. Hinkl,'e research i H nkle

Et al., 19 S : Hinkle W.:.lf f 1'055; Hin le 1P7-) sho'.Jd

cl arl, chat those, people who perceive life chan es 3r d,-

nanding and challenging are more likely, to experience stress;

and the resultant negative changes in health status. This

finding supports the factor of individual perception as an

important determinant of stress w which is included in the

theories presented above. Thus, it appears that pEsr onal it,

Actors related to the perception of and response to demand

uould ha"e relevance in the individual's final recponi: to

life changes. The presence s cud. is ba- I. on this premise

and ',ill investigate the effects of three personality. fac-

tors which are described in the nei:t sect i n.

P .r onalit, Factor_ R elate. to Deri~nd

There are three personality factors r jhich eem to h av

a gocd deal of cheoretical influ nc- on Fer option of and

response to it at io.nal demand. The f ir r ctf hce- e i_ l

of control of reinforcement Loc of control of reinforce -

men refrs> to the constru ct d e .el c:ped by Rotter ( '96'. ho

t a 3

l.hen a reinforcement i_ perceived by the
u.bjec c a following sore action of hi: omwn
but not being entirely c on inr ent upon his
acci n then, in our culture, it is yp call .
perceived as the result of luck, chance, face,
a3 under the c. ntrol of powerful others, or as
unpredictable becau-'e of the great complexity
of the forces surroun din him. Uhen the- event
Si interpreted in this wa'. by an i n, e
have labeled rhis a belief in external control.
if the per-con perceives that the event is con-
tingent upor hi, c,' n behavior c: r hi? *?'. n rela-
cively permanent c haracte ristic we have termed
this a belief in internal control. (p.1)

The locus of control cori n truct can 3 e en t.*o relate

to bothV the perception of, and the re ponse to life change

events. Perce i. ir 4 d s- irable or undes irable life chlancge

as under one' o,',n control as opposed to the control of luck ,

chance, or fate ma', jell alter rhe person basic percept io

of the c re;ssfulne s of the event. Further i f on e li e ve

he is in control of his .wn reinforcerme ts it fol lot,' that

he will re-pond dit ferenti than if he, believe' he is not

in control of his o' r. r reinforcement tudie cited earlier,

h a .e already ,' how n d i ffe r en c in the rel at n-h i p be t e en

life c range and illn e a c r o the range from internal to

e:-ternal locus of control (tlanack et al., 1975:; llo.:rehe ad,

1975l Thus, one '.:u 1 e .pect '-' t t ic '.' ar ia r in

indiv-idual ratings of life change e i, en rit acr :- the dirmen-

.ion of internal-external locu z of co t rol.

Litk. eise, the construct of r epr i c.on- en s tiz at on,

d,'. lope l b, E"rr<- f t.1 ). relates to both percept ion of

and response to life change e'.cnts. People who use repres-

sion are conceived of as being slot to perceive threat, quick

to deny threat or personal failure, and ready to forget dis-

tressing events. On the other hand, people who u e censiti-

zation art characterized by unusually speedy recognition of

threat and better than average memory of failure and distress

Repressors and sensitizers would be expected to perceive

an event such as being fired from work or expelled from

school quite differently. To the extent that the repressor

could deny the threat to self-esteem involved, one would

expect him to react without much affect '. ubjective

.-.perience of store ss. Conversely a s e n i i r 'ho urh uould

be acutely aware of the threat invol..ed in the event, would

be expected to experience not onl: the readjust i.e demand

of the event, but also a great deal of affective discress

related to the threat.

Research by Byrne and his ass. ciate (EB rn e, ntl

5 Sheffield. 1965i has shown that repressors and seniitizers

would be described difference," by others, with repre~sors

appearing consiztentl. cons iderably better adjusted in the

eyes of others than sensitizers. The ability to deny and

repress threat, failure experiences, and distress alloul s

the repressor to u.s all his energy to adjust to the event

where the sensitizer expends a great deal of enr rgy in

coping icth his a fect ive reactions to the event as : ell

as crhe eve nt i c lf. Thu r pr : ion-sen-- i i at ion would

be expected to influence not oniy rhe perception of a life

change event but also the efficiency of the r e Spon. e to

it. Thu one ou 1 d e : pec: s st ma tic variation in indi-

vidual racing- of life change events across the dimension

of rcpre ion- ens iti action.

I h third p r orn alit factor h ypo he i zed as relevant

to l f c hang. g t re i pre dominant mode C f inforJration

pr.:.ce =- ing a c nceptuali ed and operate i onali :ed by Fagan

at l. (1967 in the Learning 3trate~L ies Qi E ionnjire

(,L S.. The learning t rategy c on truct in'.'ol c an

,-nd r i ing cont inuu ri from a global to a detail orientation

in informant ion proce c ing. et al. (1 7?7) define the

end *.:f the continuum a fo ll owi '

PEr nn- on the one me-;here the deta ls
of a learning s itu t ion 'c.,uld con-ci u ce the
major focus u f at tention-ie identified d a focu.s-
cr Persons on the other cs r e me er e de a i l
r ceivJ ici r aictt ntc ion as the individual con-
cinujlly tri 's to at c -nJ t o and piece together
tt larger picture of ci e pre cs nt ion-ve i den-
t i f d a ;acan n rs Ip. 3 1'

Ih predominant mode o)f Lnformati o n proc es; ing, focus-

ing ver:u .~canning clearly hs a Etrong inf luA nce on per-

c pt ion o If l fe ch a n E e.' nt .A foc u r f aced Cr it h the

eve- n t of movie ng to a ne ; re-idence, ';.:. uld be faced b:. the

myriad detail- invol.'ed in uch an e'ent. The 'canner, on

the other hand, experiencingg the same event wouldd vier

the event much more as a more unitary event with all the

details being important only as they fit into the gloDal

experience of the event Thus, one ,aould e:-:pect systema-

tic variation in individual rat ings rf life change events

across the dimension of information processing involved

in the L.S.Q.

Following from the discucc ion of demand in the pre-

vious section and of personality factors abov.-. th.- next

section will develop hy potche ise to bhe t .- ted in the presence


H po t he c a

Follow ing from the expos it ion of Ctandardization acre.,-

cultures and ub-culture of the S. .R.S. and the dis:c i is ion

cof Caplan i~1975), the fo llo...lng hypo ches i i propo e .:

II:,pothesis L: There will be a statistically. significant,

pco-iti.e correlation between the mcan; of

the ratings assigned th event- by this

samp ie and standard rating .

Follo win from che discuss ion o" ocus of control o f

reinforce ment 3a a relevant factor for perception of and re-

sponse to der,, nd and chu to life change, the follo ing

h :.poth.sis is offered:

Hypot h es i 2:

There will be 3 Ctatiscic ]ly significant

correlatci n ,.f each su bjeer's rating of

the -6 events and his/her score on the

oFo ter 1-E Scale with internal ers show-

in lowLj r ratings.

Fo:1low'in from che d iscus ion of repression-sen icti-

cticn a 3 a relevant f ac tr for percepcio n if and r e p n e

to d ma nd, and e cif ally the demand of life change events,

che foll ou in h:,po che i is offer d :

Hypotchesi 3:

There i ill be a statistically signiticrnt

correlation of each s subject's racing of che

- 6 event and his/he r -core on the F-S

Scale wv th repres-or chowing loicrr ratings.

Foiloc.ijin from the di c u;iorL of mode of inforr.aticon

.processing as 3 1r levant factor for perception of demand,

and specific ll the deman of life change ev'entC the

f:llowin; hpothe- is i; offered:

Hypothesa : There uill be 3a latiatically significance

orr lac ion of each sublject raiing f the

~6 evenrc and his/her score on che L.S.Q.

Following from the discu s ion of individual diffre nces

in perception of events and the diverse natures of the events

on the college-modified S.R.R.S., it is likely that the above

hypotheses (numbers 2, 3, and 4) .,ill not be confirmed for

each event. Thus, using a pertunal mean of the ratings for

all 46 events for each subject, the following hypotheses

are offered.

Hypothesis 5:

1y.'ptoth. s is 6

Hypothesi 7:

Therc ., 11 be a statistically significant

correlation of each subject's personal mean

rating with his/her sc-or on the Rotter I-E

Scale with incernalizer s h oih ing lower me an


There iill be a tatij t ically significant

correlation of each subject's personal mean

raring victh his/her score on the R-S Scale

with pr es s ri showing loi er -ean ratings.

Th re will be a sta isc ica lly significant

correlation of each subject personal mean

rating it h hi i/ h r c ore on the L S.

The e'.ent on the colle e-modif i d S R .. :an be

roughly divided int. those which h can be aiiumed to be

of a voluntary nature and those- which can be as-.umed to be

of an involuntary or accidental nature. iT ere are other

event. which cannot be a signed to the voluntary or acciden-

tal groups on an a_priori basis. E.':nt- such as minor vio-

lations of the la;w' i' 3), bein precnr nt and unmarried ( ) .

and major chance in vocational plans ti~ ), can be seen to

in;,olve a good deal of p r onal r. pon i b il;it : in their

occurrence. Events such as de ath of a close friend ( i ,

brother or -si' ter leavi. ng homen: ( and lo55 of job by

one of your parents (;'5) in'.ol e little or no re-ponsibi-

lity on the part of the subject in their occurrence. t' ill

other ev'.ent; such as being fired from t .or or exp il .d

fro .-chool ( I 1), major change in number of famii :,' get-

to gather (i ) and acquiring a vi iblt deformity (:~11)

would in.o ol e neither great : r little responsibility on the

s-ubject's p3ar in their occurrence.

A c la3 .ificat ion of the :-. iv n t of the college-

modified S F..R. .into categcri es based on the subject's

control o'er occurrence is pre ented b. lo,.

Subi j ct-cc.ntrol led events

3. rMinor viol at i on o f the I a r a f L C E I t jSa y al k ing,
disturbing the peace).
6. Being pregnant and unmarried.
7. :1Major change in ocat ona] p1an .
1: Eecoming invol.. d .ith drugs or alcohol.
14 Major change in soc ial act i te:., Ic lu t. d ancnc movies,
visiting e tc.
15. Change in re- idence.

16. Fathering an unc.ed pregnancy.
22. Your being put in jail or other institution.
26. Getting married.
27. Pregnancy of wife lif married) or yourself (if you are
a married woman.
33. tHo 'ing to a new college or universe ity.
37. Outstanding personal achievement.
41. Major change in your church activities (a lot more
or a lot less than usual).
46. starting to work at a ne.' job.

Fate-controlled events

2. Death of a close friend.
4 Brother or si ter leaving home I ,arri 3 e tcend ng
college, etc ).
j. Lo ss of a job by one of oour parents
0. [Divorce of parents.
10. Marital separation of parents.
13. Jail sentence of parer.t for 1 year or rore.
17. Death of a brother or sister
20 marriagee .f a parent to a stec -parent.
21. Birth of a brother or sister.
23. Mother beginning to or .
24. Having a ph..ysical deformit, from birth which is
visible to others.
25. Death of a parent.
S' Serious illne requiring h o spi ta ii at io o f a parent.
29. Jail sentence of a parent for thirty days or less
31. :lajor change in parents' financial status.
32. Pregnancy in unwed teen pa e 'ister.
35. Increase in number of arguments between parents
36. Death of a grandparent.
34. Serious illness requiring hospital ir action of a brother
or sister.
l40. Change in father' occupation requiring increased
absence from home.
42. Addition of a third adult to [aml (grandparent, etc.).
4 Decrease in number of .argu er. n bet..een parents.

Un:s ig ned e'.e n t s

I. [e ing fired from 'Yorkn or expelled from school
5. Major change in number of fami y get-togethers (a lot
more or a lot less than usual'.
11. Acquiring a visible deformi t .
18. Change in being accepted by :our peer .
1 [ iscov'Er '. that .,ou ;ere an adopted child.
30. Breaking up with a "steady" boyfriend *:r girlfriend.
3-. Increase in number of arguments with parents.
35. e'.:ual emI :r difficulties.
43. Decrease in number of arguments th parent .
45. Failure of a course in sc noo .

The standard rati ngs (Fielia ika. U 'ebb, 14 7 o f

these groups of er.* en do not appear to differ ISubjecc-

control .=54.214. Fate-controlled X=52. 1.', Unassigned

.:=53. 50 ). Howev. er, these are ratings strictyi of re ad ust-

ment without the e ement of d- E i rabi it inc luded rie ii as-

l a Ueebb 1 '- ) From Fa'.yl'. L et al.'s 1?71) point of

vieW, the mean ratings may change rmarkeJ l: by rating upset

elic ited t. each e'ent rather than. reaijustnent From

hi view, event s wlich are -sibject-contr .1led, while

threatening to th- -.elf-cstc em of an individual with inter-

n 1 locus of control v. ul d not a the sa- e t ime threaten

his or her general view of internal locus of control. On

thei other haid eve'-nts w ''h ch ar- facte-controll ed :would

inv olve threats both t. s lf- e? t c m ard to the individual's

view of their o .n locus of control of reinforcement Sub-

tracting the subje.. t '-. pErsonjl mean rating for fate-control led

events from his personal mean rating for subject-controlled

events would give a measure 'which would thuC be related to

locus of control. Consequentl y, the following rypothesi

i offered:

Hypothesis 3:

Th re will be a tati stick all significant

correlatian of thi difference score with

score on the I-E Scale Euch that Internali-

zerr would have lower difference scores and

externalizers higher difference score .

These hY:" otheses asr offered uich the assumption c-f

alter ative' h ypo he s holding no s tati call 1 csi nificant

correlatiors. Further aEsum r is the tradit i nai l 3 umption

of all other factors being equal or aFpropri 3tel :. controlled.



The subjects in che present study were 27. under-

gradu 3a e tuden t at a large. southeacstern university.

Tr, e, t.- re recruited by self- eiec tion fr.omi the ubjecc-

pool" o f the Ps ycho TloE. e p3rtcm-nt of stu dent enrol led

in introduce or lI vel psycho Y c courses. Although sel c-

cl n i nr :ot random, this imi ca o in i noro serious as there

..' a a w ide '. variation in the per onal it:y me arjsure obt ained

a llow i n an analy sis of life chang e en racing acr oss

these mreasures. A de-co ra phic profi le of the ,ubj.ects

n'.'ol"ed in the scudy is presented in Table I. As can

be seen from the da a3. che subjects were pririaril :; young ,

sing le sophomore i. hose fami ie showed abov'.'-a'.'. ra g

Soc ioec C. onomL c C c a ctus. h i oweve r con i d er b v a r a i on

exist s acri: a e,. education n leve- l and soc i ecnc omi c

;tacu ugge-sting gcneralizability cf Finding; across

other gro up j of .in.le unit ers ity ctud ,e c

Liable I

Demographic Characct ris[ics of the Samrle

1. Age: .Pan. ean l d i jan
17-29 19.43 19.17

e : ale F er a31e
117 157

3. aIjrital Status ing e carried D '. c e d
2',53 -

Years of School
completed R ane ea lIedian
12-1,:, 13.39 13.

5. Duncan Inde.
of SES' Range 3ean leedian
7 -(0 o 2 .j .. ,),'

j Reiss. A.J. Ci.:cu at ons and social sta jtus. Ne. l k.
Free Pret- 19I 1, pp. 263- 75


The subjecr t uer ac embled in a clasro n in groups

ranging in size from t o to c e,. nc -si:. on weekday even ings.

a.roc a span of four week; in the spring of 1 "' 5 Aft -r

a brief introduction, the invE; t igator handed out to each

su .j, ct a pjcl: t containing an informed consent form. an

an-', r stir-c and the following paper and pencil. -elf-

adminis t ring questcionna ire

1. n bri.f questionnaire tapping 7ociod-.mographic

ch ara cLteristi used to describ t i
T2 he col1 ge-modifie d Social P adjustment Rating

Su cionna ire. ih i i a scale of fort y- i life change

-., nts modi filed from the original S.F.R.S. ct apply to

co ile t udden t by i el i a k ; a a snd l b I ) i hi c h he

Sut j c t w ier asked co race acc ording to rthe focllowrin

in cruict ons modified from Paykel t al. 7 1 ) :

Li stcd relow are life e-ena c uhich happ n co a
gr 3 man: people. h1ost of the i t. .vents requ re
'ome readju ctment in our dai ly pattern of li fe
Sone require a creat a ut mo of read j u; t- t ov.'r
a ahort duration while ocher; require STma l ler
amount of readjuct rent over longer intervals of
ti m 5omne of the e .e nc ; are d.lae irab c ':hbii
othe ar r. decidedly undesirable.

iou are asked to rate the jegr c to hicih each
event would be upsetting to :',ou. In msri'ng your
rating think about hot' much readjuc cment the
event would require as 'c ll as ho' des irable or
undes irable it w.ou ld be. U s: .our o',,n personal


experience and what yo'J know about the experience
of other people to make your decision. Although
one event might be mor,: upsetting to some people
than to others, usc all your c p, rie c e nc to decide
how upsetting the eve' nt woulJ be to ,'y u.

Please read through the entire list of event and
think about each. Then rate the degree to i which
each would be upsetting to you on a cale of 0 to
10 here 0 is no t upset ig at all and 100 i
extremely upsetting.

The licting of the items of the college -modified S.R.F, .

is presented in Appendix ii.

3. The Rotter ir terral-External Scale of locus of

control of reinfoicement This is a scale of twicrt.-nine

pairs of *;tatements tw ent y-chree scored and siy filler pair ,

from which the subject ua s a ked to choose ne o ac Cordinrn

to the following instructions.

This is a questionnair to fin. out the 3a'. in
which certain im portant events in our soc i et
affect different people. Each icem cons i t of a
pair of alternatives lettered a or b Pleae select
the one statenent of each pair fand on ly onel w which
o..u more strong, b 1 iev.'e to be the case as far 3a
"ou 're cc.en. rn- be sure to select the one 0,ou
actual 1 believe to be rore true rather than trh
one you think you should choo e or the onfe ,you
,would like to be true This i a mea-ure of
personal belief. obviously threrr: are no right or
urong answer .

Please record your answers to the item b- placing
an "s" in the blank in the appropriate column ...f
the answue r sh,.-t. Ans.ier the-e item; care ful ly
but do not spend coo much time on an:. ne t c m .
BV sure to find an ans.ier for each it :m.

in s o m e irnstaces yoU m a', discover hat 'o bel ie ve
both .ratements or neither one in such cases, be
sure to select the one 'you more strongly bel ieve to
be the case a far a you re conc .ern e A so, tr
to respond to each item ir nd pend ently vher making
'.our choice; do not he influenced b: your previous

Th e sc ae was scored, as standard, in [he direction of

externaliti y ,with 3 m aa:: mum internal score of z7er and a

ma.::imum e::terrn al sc ore .: f teenr ',' -thr ee. The irem incl ide

eleven where rh 3 respor.n is scored and t'el e the

b respore is s cored. The list ing of i ters its presented

in p ppc-ndi ill.

4. The BE'rne Pepression-SensEiti:ation scale. This

i' a sc le ofi 127 true-E al s e ite m taken from the innesota

M ful t i ph a t c FPer n al i t ', I n v enr or ub e cts t ere instructed

as fol oi :

This irnv'entory' c onEis E of numbered statements.
Read each statement and dJec ide v.h cher it is true
as appl ied to ', o r fa l'e alp l iedi to 'ou.

F lea e record '.our ans er to the items b, placing g
an "x" in the blank in the appropriate column on the
anse;er h eet. If trh- st tement is T RI.IE or liOSTLY
TRUE as applied d tO- y ,'.-u, place an "':" in the blank
in the- column headed T. If the s st cement is FALSE
or lriT iii;le.LL'i IFliF aF applied to .'ou. place an
S rin the blank in the column headed F. If a
statement does not applF to y:ou ar if it is sa.:,methi n
that :.'ou don't know about, ma ke no markl on the
anses r sh- ee t.

Remember to i3 e ,'[iIF. ,:,iii' opini.,n o f :urself [.:,
not leave an' bl ank space? i f you can a.voi d it.

This scale uas scored, as standard, in the direction of

sensitization with a maximum repression score of zero and

a maximum sensitization score of 127. Of the items, ninety-

eight are scored where a response of "True" is given and

tuen yv-nine are scored where a response of "False" is given.

The listing of the items i.; given in Appendix I'.

5. The Learnine Stratec ie; i'uestionnaire. This

scale is a forty-one item, multiple choice measure with

the following instructions:

Thick questionnaire asks you to describe the way
yoi study and learn. There are many different
iays to stud',' and learn, any one of which ma' be
effecci.,e for a particular individual. Since this
is the case, there are no right or wrong ansrier;
to these questions. Please indicate, in general
how accurately each statement describe' you by
martin; your answer sheet with an"%" according to
this ke':

1. This describes me very well.
'. This describes mi moderately well
3 This does not describe me very well.
4. This is not true of me at all.
5. I am ver ,' inconsistent in this situation.

This scale is scored in the direction of focusing with Jer',

low c.-re:. indicating scanning a' a predominant mode of

information process ing, and hich scores indicating focusing

as the predominant mode. Cf the fort score able item ,

tu.ent.,-one are -cored for r-. ponse- of "I" or "2" and

nineteen are 'cored for responses of "3' :,r ",." The list-

in; of the items and the additional ke for responses ar

present d in Appendi x '.

['Da a Reduction and Anal '. i

Folloi i n the procedure out c lined abo '. al1 a n

sheets. '.re examined c I o~ e I,' for any evidence of obvious

re pcnce bi a On. ubj Lct's an v. r heet chowed .:obvious

re pon- e bias i i th all r:e po n e fa llin in one column on

th three per nali r sc-ale Thiv s '*.:as discarded. Another

an e rr _heet ,a, marked iL th imann o.mi ss on and, for this

r a.:,cn, s i a l- discard d. This r : e'l left 27: u s bl e

an e r heet .

The per ona it -sca le and mnacures of :soc iodem -

rraphic chara.:t ri ic 'ere -'cored and co dI by hand on[o

the a ns.- r shee *:*: it careful doubt ie-ch l I' in. The e data

e er.- then punched onto IBt I BlO- column card and v.rifi.'d d

pro fe sc al e punch personnel The *:ar Jd i uer, read into

an IBE'l -read r and alt c omput ati ns ctre p rfo rm ed '-,

an A.mldal co.' puter u in- ca 5L t is t i P 3 ackac for oc ial

'-c ience program .



This chapter Will present the anal-sis of che data

and the testing of the specific hypotheses stated abo'e.

This will be done in t wJ major sections. The first will

present the results of the standard; ationr of the college-

modified S.R.R.S. and the comparison to the standard

(readjustment) ratings with a test of H,pothesis 1. The

second section 'ill present the results of the data anal'-

sis for the effects of the personality factors on the ratings

of the events. Within this section w i1 1 be su.sec tion

dealing with the results pertaining to the i-E S ale. the

P-S Scale, the LSO a combination of all three personality

measures. and, finally, che effect of event group and locus z.

control of reinforcement on rating. This section will in-

clude formal tests of Hypoctheses 2 -

tand a r J i z a t i n

The av'era e, rounded rating given to each event alon

1ith the standard rating ,; the dJLfftI r nce bLet' eer standard

and new rating's, and the percent difference from the stan-

dard rating are presented in Table 2. i.l o e inspection of

the data reveals changes frorn scndard to upset rating which

v.'ar from -32 to *39. The mean change fr n standard to up-

set rating isL 2. 24. Of the fort,-six e.ents. tuent.-four

sh;c..,: n upset ratings t ent:.'-one hc.jed louer upset

ratings, and one -,as rated the same Of the t Lenty-four

rich sh bi, d in.-rea sc. in ratings. chr ee increased more

than thirty" unicE fi'.'e increased bet een tcienty and

thirt', units, nine increased bet;ieen ten and t'..enty units,

and seven in..:rea d le than ten units. f the ti ent: -

one e'.'ents which cho.,ed decrea es i n ratings one decrea ed

mor- than thirty : units, three decreased bect een twenty and

thir :, unit ten decreased bei:. tw. n ten and t. nt:, units

and e'.en decre ased let ss chan ten units.

Those events hic h s- oie.d the lar f. t increase in

rat in from read ju stment required to upset produced are

numbers 39 3b. 1, 17, 2, 2., and 35. It i- noteable that .

v ith the ex.c::eption t number 1, f ired from o rk, or lled from .schr ol.l, all of these .e event are change- tfor

the worse for people close to the subject. The event-: include

Table 2

Comparison of "P.adjucsmi nc" and "Ups.c" Ratings for E'.'ents

Event r.eadjustment ing

1. Feing fired fronr -7
Laork, or spelledd
from school.

2. Death of a close 63

3. linor violations 31
of the la'a.

4. Brother or sistsr 37
lea. in; horri e.

5. Lois of job b'i one -6
of .our parents.

6. bring pregnant and 9q2
unnarr ied.

7. Major change in '"
.'oca3 ional plans.

8. iajor change in 35
number of family,
get-tongether .

9. Ui.vorc of p:irents. 77

10i. Marital separation t6
of parent .

11. Acquiring a S1
visible deformi .

12. ErCC.rLnn involved 76
ilhl drjgi or
a lcohoL.

Upset b


i difference
it. Ratcinr



*70. 21

*26 +-1.27


-29 73

-16 -3;.;S

* 20 + S. 00


-5. 1

'13 -


-14 -1E. 2



13. Jail s tetence of
parent tor one
"ear or mire.

Tabl- 2 (continue-d

F.e~djusEenLrt Upset
RacingF Racing

I "i,^


1' tlajor change in
c ial acc i ir i e .

15. Change in
res ide-nce.

16. Fatherirn an
unfU pregnancy.

17. De4riai of a btrotih- r
cr s i .- r .

1i Change in being
acceptE- b'
,,our p-ers.

19. [i cov.-r chat ,ou
.j-re an ad. Fptced

10. larr i a c of a
parent co a step-

21 Birth of 3 brother
or i t r.

22. 'our being put in
jaii or ocher
inbticut ion.

23. :other beginning
to w;,ork .

". Having a phy-icai
*1e foreT ii c' from
birch ';"-ich ie
visible co ocher .

25. Death of a parent.

*1,' +50.00



-20 6.3

-27 -5. 02


O. O0

-Y. 20

Di ffrence
in Kacings



*+1 b7

Table 2 (continued)


Re adjus ctent

26. Getting married.

27. Prergnanc of wife
(if married) Jr
yourself (if you
are a married woman).

28. Serious illness
of a parent.

29. Jail sentence
of a parent for
30 day's or less.

30. breaking up with a
"steady" boyfriend
or girlfriend.

31. Major change in
parents financial

32. Pregnanrc' in unwed
teenage s5Lser.

33. moving to a ne'
college or
uni- ersit '.

3-. Increase in number
of arguments with

35. Increase in number
of araumnnts
becruen parenEs.

36. D:eah cf a

37. Outi t.anding
per snal achi'.,emenc.

LIpse b
Fat ine




in Ratings Differcnce

-32 -22.67

-29 -4-.62

+26 *-7.27

*li *-33.qb

-17 *32. '.

*16 *37.7

-1- -25.0,

*Ic 3-.1

'2-. *52.17


Table 2 (continued)

Ever nt

Feadjus cimnt

Up'se b
Rat in;

Ei ffEre rnce
in Fat ing

38 Sexual problem'
or .Jifficulties.



.30 3o7 Q. l

39. Seri.,us illness
requir ing
hospital 1at ion c f
a brother .jr i ter.

iO Chance' in father's
occiupat ion
requiring increased
3bs~inci from lhro e.

1i. M;jjor change in
"our' church
activiti .

-* .Addition of a
third Adult tc
fami Ii.

'.3. De creai in number
otf arc:j-rants with
parent s.

--. Decr.eae in rnu.mber
of argument
t-c'ieen parent'.

-5. Fatlure f a
cjJr.c, in schooll

tart in to ..ort .
at a n.-- job.


-1s -=3. .-t.


-13 -50. '

-13 -4$ .15

* 30. 3,.

- ;..;',.

a from Bi li.-o ka ij and 'ibb 1974)

b mean rjcin.2, round.-d cc number

Serious illne-ces requiring hospitalization of parents or of

a brother or sister; deaths of a grandparent, sibling. or

close friend; and increa ,- in the number of arguments

bec een the subject's parents. In the -ense that the

events in question are focu e:d primarily on another person

or couple their occurrence would d be expected to generate

more of an emotional reaction than a prescribed need for

readjustment. Ihus. 'hhen de'irabilit ,' of En. event is in-

corporated into the ratings, che.s event show marLk d in-


She event : :ho ing the largest decr .as e in ra3 ing of

degree of up etr as compared to readj'u tment rating include

getting married, pregnancy of wie t if marri d; or .our lf

Sif .:ou are a married -wora3n), birth of a brother or sister.

and out tan ding per onal achie.,emenc. These events s eem

much more directly relevant to the subject than the group

of ev.'ents discussed ahoyv.- Ho li.ever their genera ly, social ll

desirable nature ms-, ,ell attenuate the readju tment required

to yield an event w which doe' c not produce a high decree of

upset in the -ubject..

U el en the absoluce amount of change in racing i ad-

jusced for the levE' of thc e st c nda3rd I readjust c ent) racing,

a percent i: obta inel which is sho'.:n. also, in Table .

There are few chan ge in the group. of e v nCs .;h. win the

mo.t change. either r increase or decr-ease from readjustment

t o upset rating. Of a l the cv cnts .h. wing an increase.

three sh.:, ain increase of ov r 75' there si ih an increase

of betu een 5 -. rnd 7 ten shoo an increase of bet n

251 and 4' and eig ht sho an incr ase 3 le's than 25

LO the s i showing rhe lar st p ercet p incrEr a .- in rating,

anl ': tL o are nO in ce gr,- u p of events i 'th the ar1rgest

increa e in ratings di; c ssa d abc'. Th-es t o:j ne ev. nt

are ,major cha nge in 'o ati onnl plans ( 7'i and. chan g in

resider c 1 Each of these events s-how% a mar r d per-

:en increa .e in ratin (''.; and 50 r :- p*: eti'.'e buc

remain; tn el.-ai the average rating for all fort --.i:. e.cenct .

Lil I e ,i af chE thrE- e, nts : z hoi l 3 ma ra edJ perc en de-

cr E a in rain .nl ,' ne I d cr ea: in numb cr 'f argument

;i th your parents) i' neii, and i c i thi 1:,' t r a t Iin of

the fi:rtv-i e-ents 'lhen raced for decree to c which it

i ', uld be up getting.

The dat can also be b r t-l n up accord ng to the cl a si-

ica t ion cf : e ent c as s.,ubjec -controll ed fa -c nc r l led

:r una i n -d. The m ean readjustment ratings for th group ,

re -: p ct l are 1.21. 52.2. and .:"3. 0 i-'h en the m h an

of each btjecct' a' erag ratings for -a : h groupp i co m-

put d it .iields mrr; an: of ".67 -1 .75 and 57.63. respec-

ti.'el,. 1 h reaT che read jstment ratings: rhi littc 1 f-

fe r nce L.t..eL n the e .ent group._ the up ec rat ing n rarv edl

differ fro:. one croup t.-: anitiher The da ta su; E t that

as the degree of subject' control over the event decreases,

the degree to which the event vould be upsetting increases.

This 'ugge'ts a direct correlation be-treen undesirability

of the event, included in the upset ratings, and a lack

of control over the event.

Having examined differences in the two sets of ratings

for the events, it is now time to turn to the similarities

between the ratings. Included in thi; is the test of

Hypothesis 1. The coefficients of correlation comparing

the two sets of ratings ar e presented in Table 3. A c an

be readily seen. regardless of the method of correlation

used, there is a clear. positive correlation between the

ratings of readjustment and upset for the forty-six events.

Thus, there- is a clear confirmation of Hypothesis 1, that

the cu sets of rating-s would [e positivel, st at stoically

significantly correlated.

Personal it.' Factors

Ihis section ,.ill present the results of the data

analysi: aimed at determining the effects of the three per-

sonalit, factors r. the ratings of the ev nt of rte co le e-

modified S .R.R .S The six sub-sections bel ow. i nc lude one

each reporting the results of the analysis of the data con-

cerning each personality easurc the Internal-External


locus of control scale, the F.epre ion-Sensiic zati ion Scale.

and the Learning Etrategies Scale. Each s.b-sect ion will

con i.Jer the rese t of the h:. po he;se asc-ociared witch chat

ruea5ure. In aJdition, there 1 f :. oI s.ub- e c ion

jealin u ith the groups of e.'ents Fhich ,ho, j correlations

with onl onn or two or all three of [he personality measures

and one dEaling rith the relation between event group and

the person a ity factor ,f Locus of control .

T a L, I 3

Corr-lation C.:p f ic ients of Resdjustn ent Ratirn,. Lip et
Pat ings


Pe arson

K nd al

S pe a rmr an

Co- f i i -nt

.6 .5

Si nifica c L .'el

u.. 00 I

. O l

I-E -cale Results

The correlation coefficients of scores on rth I-E Scale

uil h the rat inr.s for each .'enc and with the subject s per-

sonil a.'erage rating of all fort-:.-si events arE presented

in ab t.e As can e seen. fourteen of the forty -si :.: events

short. statti r.ic3ll. significant c.srrelitions .,ith I-E Scale

scores. Of the fort -si:-.. e cents hir '.-eigh yield nre aCi. e

c orr lati ., of ratings i ith I-E Scale sco res which is the

h pothesized direction of the r-lationship. Of the fourteen

e.: nLs which shlio. si nif icant corr nation of ratings with

I-E Scale all are in the hypothesized direction.

Ihus. H: p th sis 2 i par iall conf irmed.

The group of e.encs whichh shlowe.d i.r ificant corre arions

of ratE ngs with I-E Scale scores do not ea ilv fit into an:,

sin gl .I'tE c or ,: Two iof thi evenCt (numb-rs 15 and J3 are

riot classic filed as subi ct- control ed e'.'Lnt Fi'. e of tlie

e .enr i'nuirberE 2. 0 21 2-. 3', and 2' 3 r c l ssi field a:

fate-c,'ntrolled e'.'ents. rHe remaining sev.enr events shio. inn

Lignificant correlation fall into the category of unassigned

control E:- prapolating from F- e's 1 l 2 c lass if ication of

E.ents az farrili p rs-c.nal L-. ork. or financial, orne can classic f

the fourteen e"encs inco one of three categories: persona .

family' or 3c olu: .or k. Ijhen this is done rE.o of the ev .'nt s

fall into the chocol/wor realm numbers 33 and ). f i .'c fall

into c h family realM. a nd -'.' en into the pErsonal realm.

A further distinction could he made on the basis of who

is directly involved in the event. For example, while events

such as getting married (number 26) would involve th1 subject

directly and centrally in the event, other events such as

marriage of a parent to a step-parent (number 2U) do not

do so. Uhen the fourteen, events in question are classified

by direct or indirect involvEment of the subject. ten con-

sist of direct involvement. Examples of this are the follow' ing

events: 11. Acquiring a visible deformity. 15. Change in

residence.; and 30. Breaking up uith a steadyd" boy friend

or girlfriend. The four events consisting of indirect involv-

ment include marriage of a parent to a step-parent ( i20

and birth of a brother or sister ( 21 ). Thus, one can see

th 3t these events do not easily fit into an:, category. Fur-

ther discussion of this groupp of event, in relation to the

other events will be included in the ne.t chapter.

Lhile Hypothesis 2 covering the I-E Scale ani each of

the forty-si:. events was only partially confirmed, HyFothesis

5 concerning the correlation of the pErsonal a'.erage for the

fort "-s i e'.ent with I-E Scale score was clear ly con irrred

The correlation obtained i listed at the end of Table .

Despite the fact that the correlation is low a n accounts

for only 2'. of the variance in personal average rating, such

a correlation would be obtaine.. by chance le-s than one in

Table 1

Correlations of Each of the Events and the Personal A'.'-rae of all
Et cents rith Scores on Each .:f the Persconai i r: Scales

Event I-E R-S L'SC

I. Eeini fired fr.-.iom ork, or 06' .05- .102'
e:.pelled front sci-ool.

2. Death of 3 close friend. -.072 .075 .037

3. :1in.:.r violation'. of the law. -.i:21 .10? .103

4. Lrothe :.r r sister leading -.030 .132 .07-
home .

.. Lo:s of job by: one of ,:our -.031 -.001 .17 .

A. Being pre,'nant and jiru arrived. -.03' .0-9 .026

ajor change in '.cat ion plan -.i06 .2''"" .071

:. Major change- in nintrmbr of
famrit. ect-tcethers. .012 12 .113

Div.orce of parents. .0I'2 -.022 .Os..

10. '-tM rirt separate ion of parent-. .156 -.02) .0)2

11. ,-. quiring a l ible defc.rmity. -.1 '- 1-. .12

12. Becoii ing in,.olvedJ .ith drugs -.005 .071 101
or alcoho .

13. Jail sentence of parent for -.r, .,3' .065
1 ear or m ore.

1-. .laj.:,r chan e in soc ial -.,O~. .1-1 .110.
a3 t i' it ie,

13. Change in r ieidence. -.136 l'" 117

1'. Fachering an unued pregn;ncr .05 -.033 .03-

1I Death of a brother or sister. -.077 .0'. .035

Tahbl- 4 (continued)


. 162."

13. Change in being accepted by
your peers.

19. Di-coiery that you ,.;re an
3dopt.-d child.

20. 1Mrriage of 3 parent tor a

21. Birth of a brother or sister.

22. Your being put in jail or
other institution.

23. Mother be.-inning to :'ork.

24. Hiav ing a ph-isical deformity from
birth 'rhich is ..isible to others

25. Death of a parent.

26. Getting married.

27. Pregnancy oF ' (if married)
or yourself (if ,you are a
married toman).

2S. Serio'nl illnc.- requiring
hospitalization of a parent.

'9. Jail sentence of a parent
for 30 days or les-.

3i. Breaking up r.lic a "stead-'"
boyfriend or girlfr ind.

31. Ilajor change in par,-nts'
financial status.

32. Pregnancy, in un"ed t.snacce

33. rl-.. ing to a r-. col leg- or
univcEr i t:y.

34. increa.); in numb.-r of argunmnt's
,'ith parernc .

-.V 9."-.

-. 109:






-. .63




- .19 *



.2 iu .1*6*




* 1:115
. 2 ,)1 1 > '

. 167"..

.167 '"



. 105





.1 1'"


-. 106


.19 8 .167-

.10 0



".'11 11>2

. 1229"- .-| l




Table 4 I:continued)


Increas= in number of -.1
ar0iMjiit Lts bi-rween parent .

L'eath of a crandparent. .26

i:jt c .st ndi[n p.ersorn3l achieFve-menc .-.c01'

. Se...u l problems or difficulties.

3' r. S ri.ous illness requiring
ho.pitalizati.j n otf a broth-r
or sister.

hang- in father': oc:cupation
rcquirinc increased absence
from homne .

-1. Major chance in '.our church
ac t ;_ ;. i e .

-2. Addition of a third adult to
"our f jm ilv.

3. in number of areu-
ment-i rich parent .

- L'.: cr'_a in numbj er of argu-
m:nt. b-tw,-.n prrenc .

45. Failure of a cour-- in school.

HA tartcinc to wlorl at a nut job.

Fir.onal a'.crac- otf at.o.e -iv nt.


-. 1(2.1;
- *li


- I,, I

- I I'." -'




-. 3' -

. <, .

.17r '. .(

. l' .-l.

.1 -. l, 3

.1'. 7


.2 :r., ** .161.3

. p,<.' :. p 0 1


- .,3:

I's .



*a hundred times. Such a correlation, in the hyp, o thesci ed

direction, would confirm the role of locus of control of

reinforcement as a determinant in the perception of life

change events.

R-" Scale Pesults

The correlation coeffictents of scores on the Pepres ion-

er nsitizat ion (P-S) Ecale w3 ith ratings of each of the forty-

six e'.'nt~ are presented in Table It i s cle r from t h

table that her ratings of more events correlate significant l'

,Vith the F.-5 Scale than rith the I-E Scale. In act ualit' ,

for tw'entv'-six of the total of forty-si:. events, the c orrela-

tion of rating, v'ich P-S ecal score was si;ni ficant and in

all these cases the correlation vwa in the I, pothecized

direction. For the forty-six e ent only fi'.v cshoi nega-

tive correlations of rating with -S SL ul sLc re-- f o r -one

of the correlations go in the expected direction. Thus. one

can consider Hy pothesis 3. like hpothe~s 2, partially con-

f irm d.

T h ce e r. y- i*: events l h o s e rating corre late si gni-

ficancly i.itl P-S Scale scores consist of ten subject-

controlled events, seven f ate-co ntro, lled events c and nine

unassigned events. c ,T W t V .-e o f the e i nt ,y-si occur in the

per onal rea Im, nine in the fam il y r ealm, four in the choir l/

,jork realm, and one in the financial realm Trent of the

t-..'er y-i in i.a direct central way in

the event while s 1 invol '.e the -ubjec more indirectly.

Aa in. a ai the ca.e concerning the I-E Scale, while

H pochesis 3 is only partially confirmed, Hpochesis 6 is

confirmed f irm .and clea r The co:rrel ciion be ieen

the subject' personal a.' erage f rac nas and th; P-S S 3 le

Sc ore acco unts for : of the variance and wo uld happen by

chance less than one in one thousand times. Such a correla-

tion, along w'ich the correliation o t the individual events,

ends t. s-upporc cth role of r s-ponse o chrear in the form

of repression o r se s iiT a cion. in the percept ion of life change

s ve n c E .

LF i Scale FeI ul

ihe correlation coefficients of cores o n ch Learnin

Stact gies- Ouestionnaire which che racing of each of the

f .r t ,- : i : e enc Es and wich t he personal a .era e rating for

all fort,-s x event are presenced in Table ,. E::amination

of the cable shows chat ctenct -o n of the events ihoi. ratings

which .correlate s g n i fiant 1 Eith LS?) scores. i;ineteen of

t he s e c oor i narl 1 a i re po. i ve and t.o are ne ga [ i e The

positi c e correlac ion show an association between focusing

.as a predJ minanc cognitive mode and high ratings whereas

ne. a c i ve correiatons show an a ssaciaton b i. e e n scanning

and high racines. The two negative are two of six negative

correlations in the whole group of forty-six events. The

analysis of the correlation, thus, shows a partial confirma-

tion of Hypothesis ., with the addition of directionali vt

that scanners rate events lower than focuses, on the whole.

Combination, of Personality Factors

Careful e amin aclo of the data presented in Table

shows that twelve of the events ,how no si nificanr ccrre-

lations of ratings with any of the personality factors. The

ocan racing of these e.'ents range irom 15 co 5 iith a mean

of 73.2. They consist of three subject- control lled and nine

fate-controlled events. Four occur in the personal realm

and eight in the family realm. The nine face-controlled

events involve the subject indirectl, or peripheral whereas

the three subject-o controlled events involve the subject direct-

1. and centrally.

Fifteen of the for tc -si: events shou ratings w which corre-

late significantly with only one of the three per a nalic y

factors. These events range in average rating from 1- to '5

v ith a mean of 51... it thee. five e are cla sifie d as subject-

controlled eight are cla st ified as fate-controlled and two'

are unassigned. Three occur in the school .'or1: realm. Sc 'en

of the event inv 1lve the subject directly and c entrall whi1e

the eight fate-control led events in. solve the .ubj ec indirectly .

and peripherally.

Ele.'c n events sho.u significant co.rrelations of their

rating- w-ith tw-o of the three personality: faccors. These

events ran cr in a' erai e rating from 13 to F'i i ch a mean

r a ine of 42. Of che e cl ve n. four are .: l si. ie d sub-

jict-controlied, four are claas ified fatL -controiled, and

chree are unassigned. Four o c:ur in the personal realm,

i :*: in th~ f .jmil. realm, and one in che fina.n cia realm.

Seven in.oli e th su bject dir ect1'.' and four ndi rectc .

Eight event show s i nif ican co:rrelacions of their

ratings ,,ith all hr: e personr.alit factcrs. These events

ran t in a ragee rat in from 30 to 82' .. ich a mean orf 5;. ,.

Tw -> ,f ch s c e n ne 3 re cl a filed .3 s ubject-con trolled.

n r. a f a t -c control d,. and fi e are unass ned. Si... o > cur

in the pe lt d ral real m .and ri, in the school Iork r ealnm.

All l eight ev enr inv. l.n the sutj, jec directly in the ev ent.

A look at these four groups of evE'.nts shows that tLo

of the c classification seem related to the de ree or r a-

tionship b ctween ratings and personalic j. facctr It is

no te ab 1 cha t he gro up of e.en 5 the r tin of w which

,orrc latce wih all three person 5.-na l i c ftact t s includes one-

half f f the e.e nts ,c ia- ie d as una .i ned in control. Th.

etoup correlating w I c h Ct o p erso nal i fI:ac or. has 30 '. Of

c l uns a signed and ti. e Ia c (. are in che group correi lacing

with only one. This progression suggests a relationship

between the uncertainty of the subject's role of responsi-

bility in the event and the relationship between its racing

and the three pers.-nalic:. factors. Such events would allow

internalizers to internalize, externali-r& to externalize.

repressors to saE. the event was merely a stroke of fat

and no threat, and sensitizer cto perceive all the possible


Also of note is that all eight events involve the

subject directly and centrally' in the event. The events

in'.'cl :e not an injury co someone else, even 3 brother or

sister, but the acquisition of a .isible Jeformity b., the

subject himself (11 ). In that chc se events in vol ve the

subject directly, they' may ha'. e a greater potential for

good or bad impact on the subject life and, chus, in some

sense, be more "important" or central to a college student.

The degree of importance of the event could well influence

the decree to which perceptions of the event var, according

to locus of control of reinforcement, response to threat,

and cognici.e style.

Finally, these eight event have average ratings ranging

onl: from thirty to eighc ,- two. I hey a ar a ubs- t cf events

whose ratings fall in the mid-range of ratings. This can be

seen as a possible determinant and a result of their multiple

correlation tith the personality measures. being in a mid-

ground between trivial (Decrease in number of arguments with

parents and the devatat ting t(Deat of a parent ), the per-

ccpr ion of these events is i or- and related to

the -ubject's individual wa's of con cei i ng interpreting,

and constructing his or her ps.'cho logic al world. Thus,

they cold well he expec ted to shot', correlations of rating

1rith the personalit mreasur On the Other hand, any e'.vent

whichc h showed correlationsr reaching statis Ltical significance

i.ith all three persona li t:, i asi res would have to hoh v

fjirl v uide variation in rat ins Con equentl: it would

bet alrn o t impose ible taori ic all for the average of

these rating' to he at -ither e:-treme of the continuum.

Event Cro E and P ers onali

The mean i of the event group ratings were reported above

and are fur other isumm arized, along v ith correlat ion coef fi-

cients in Table 5 Despi e th thee oretical ju-tificatl on.

there is no 4tatti call" I i nificant correlation between

lc cui *: control Iscore : and the different c score. Thus,

Hypothesis i rejected.

Ho',e.c r all ev ent group a rage ratings and the differ-

ence score correlat. signi i ficant Iy v. ith Fcpressio.n-Sen it i a-

tion .cale cores T h e se r c u ts uggest a m..- rr important

role of the response to threat than locus of control of

r in orc em nt in d t.- dining percept ion and rating of life

chan e e ver ts This is sue, alone i t h other raised above

by other aspect o of the results, will be discussed in the

next chapter which will attempt to integrate the findings

of this study and these findings with the extant literature

Table 5

Event-Group 'lean Ratings anJ C orrel a tion with Per r nali ty Factor

Correlation which

Even t-Grou_.up Hc:jn Rat ing I-F R-S LSQ

-:u ject-control led 15.067 -.0 .* .i081

Fate-co:ntrolled 61. 76 -.0 ? .4 159C''

U.inaT-i ned 57 ... -.20 -'"' .325 ''

Ei tf rer a l..0 0 -. 9 19 -.

S .I'- i'.5 p .'MiL d a" p: .0C 1

3 Dif 'ernce ..a- compaced a Sut jcit-control led average minu-
F t- -controll -d I a.'- ra3 e.



Thi chapter will summarize and attempt to integrate

the findings of think study with the exiscing literature arnd

with the theoretical predict on made. It C i11 be divided

into section address i ing the overall scandardization. the

findings regarding the zFecific per onal hti factor;, che

overall personality fact':r- and theories of stre and

directions for future research.

Stand rdi a ci n

The significant correlation becLeen readjusm- ent ratings

and upse r rating s of the forty-r si event is confirmation of

the validity of both. The fact that the th wo SeL of ra ings

corr late positiv'ely uould s ron gl: uggest that both readju t-

menc and -emotional upset re lating to d e irabili [; *: f h e ent

enter into th. determ nation of the extent to whi ch che event

causes tre ss for the uibject. Thi i con so ant uich the

different theoretical models of stress uhich p int up not

onl thc d: rmand for 3djuscmenr or protlr m-solv'ing, but also

the emotional reaction co chat demand 3a determinants of the

. everity of tr s 5.

Differences bet cer the r-adjuscrment ratings and the

UpsctrnmenL ratings point to the relative impact of readjust-

ment demand and des irability in d ter nininr the stressful-

ne of a life change c e. nt. Some cv, nct s which did nor in-

'vo! e the object d irectlc showed mar ed jump in racing

uhen undesirabilitc' -j added to readju crment. Others.

show d dramatic drops in racing as desira i lity of the

e'.,rn t acccnuatedl th e more radical degree of readjusctment

r qu i r .

In ct rms of che Dohrenwend ( 19.*1 I nodel prcented

previous s 1 the dc trabilit of an event woui d ac a a

mediating factor in rhe response to th- s- res sor event For

highlI, under irable -vents, the undesirabi lLy v would add a

dimension t, the chance itsElf and wouldd constrain che course

of act ion called for b-, che str E or. For e. 3ampl che d cath

of a parent is an c.'ent *,hi ch .*re an.d s. rc adju s cr ent and is

clearly stressful in addition to the r cadjusctrent requ r-d ,

horeve'r tthe per. on mu!st also act .ithh i n the per c.nal and

ocietal c o n tra ints having to do with the ec prec cion of

crief. The e constraints can incensif; the :tre s' resulting

from there event an. thereb, incr rea the probability of malad1 ap-

civ'd reactions such as physical or ps.'ycholog cal breakdown.

Likewise, in the Howard and Scott (1965: Scott & Howard.

1970) model, a problem presented in clear terms in one of the

four dimensions can be augmented or attenuated by the pre-

sence or absence of a concomitant problem in another realm.

Again taking the example of the death of a parent, the prob-

lem of readjustment involves three dimensions including re-

adjustment in the individual's physical environment, readjust-

mernt in the individual's cin psychological en .ironment, and

readjustmC nt in the individual's so.iocultural milieu. to

the e:-tent that sociocultural c nstraints involved in the

event inhibit prcblem-solving in the person's own psycho-

logical en'.'ironment, for e:X:am ,ple, such as social consr trains

against open expression of grief which would facilitate the

resolution of the problLre in the person's ps-.,cholcEical

environment, to that e::tenc the tension and stress of the

e'enr is increased. It is likely that events which h arc

undesirable, b; their undesirability poce more or rore severe

problems to the individual in more realm s of his/her e::istene.

Conversely, in some manner, an event which requires much re-

adjustment but i. more desirable results in less tension and

St r es .

The nature of the interaction between readjustment

demand and dJ sirabil t 1 which results in the overall degree of

upset or stress produced by an event cannot be addressed by

this study. In fact, iE may t.e true that different aspecEs

of the change ratings are differential .. predictive to

dij ff rent out ome s. r que, stion 4 h ih could be a ddre ed

in future r search nicht dJ ermine the rel tiv.e prEdicti.'e

po .wer of r adju sment and upset rain r tco m ea sure of

phys ic l s.' mpctom p s ch ogic 31 di s. r s number of y mp-

toms. or se'eric,' orf s mp tom in the past, mo t of th r

r .-ja Jju ent r search has ppr d ced to ph 1 F cal sym to mi ,

uheres i n oi of the up ec r .se rch has pFre ict d co

p :ychologic d .tress and ps ch iatric -,'sympto ms. It is

noc be:ond r as -n to :..p c t that rea. justmenr racing might

pred it iore accurate l to ph'; iceal E equellae and ups a

ratcin beca e of the add t ion cf the em optional r act ion

c mri p.nent o de r h i I i Lt., to p cholog ical equ llae.

Defiici[i. a n E rs t o thes.- i c iue a ait further research.

Person alit Fact ors

Pa ed orn p r io's research f i inding of ''amam.ot and

:. ne i ; T 1 71) and other:, one could e-.pect diffe ren c in

the percepc i ons oF e'.ents to carry thr .: gh into a d f erenc e

t, o'.erjll r e pon e. This r searchr. along it h that o f

i in nd h i associate IHin l -- E: 31a .. 1 95 ; i n .l

Solff. 1 c. H nir, l 1 '97-. has s ub tant i ted the important

influence cf i nl i Jdua perc pt ion in the e: .iperien e of l it

change events. This s tud:, ha been d esi n. .J to iIn'. i scigate

si; emacic aviationion in che perception of those e'enrcs

attributable co three personality factors theoretically

related to the concept of demand and threat.

This sc.cion wr. ill a ccrp to cxplicate the rela ionshi p

among che major variables and ct integrate the findings. Ic

rill consist cf uubseci crio s dressing the I-E Scale, the

R-S Scale. the LSO. che combination of scales, and tch ev'.ent

groups and Fersonalic. fac or s.

I-E Scale

The rela tionship bet. ee r the racing of che e'.en s and

locus of control of reinforcement i. a real but not a u cful

one. While four r of the c'.'enc aind the personal aj er a e

rating gs correl t signific nt l and in thce lih po he ed

direction, the I-E Scale icori aj counts for onl" of the

variancee in personal a'.'erage rating. Half of e"encs in

question ha-ve unassigned control, i.e. they cannot he

clasified as fac -concrolled or subject-controlled a prior.

I lou c cf che events icen) inv'.olve the subject jirectl.' and

:entrall ', in the e .'ent.

Ih~ie class ific a c on sjugg e L t hajt. to tch Occi nt chac

che responsibility -. for che occurrence of an event ic ambi-

gu -us 5-nd to the e:h en t h ac cthe e en c invol e tht e .ubjecc

directly and centrally che racing of tch eventr are influ-

enced by locus of control of reinfo rce rnt It could be ctha

the dubiousness of control over the event sensitized it in

term- of ratings to the influence of Iccus of control. How-

ever, half of the events fall -ither into the subject-

controlled E roup or the fats-controlled group. The-e events

inc ld c hange in residenc ('15), birth of i brother or

si t ter (L 21 ). moving to a new univer ict or coll e e ( # 3),

and ad i ion of a third adu lt to tie famiil. i ;21. These

re ent though not rai. ng an issue of control are open to

man" posz ible re pon;es on the part of the subject

In light of the find i rn cf lanack er al. l19 5) of the

-ignificant difference becween -ubject; hopingg internal

locu of control in tch ir re pon se c.o life change si it

app- ar that perception of the evnc cannot w'holl, account

for this difference. It i: l ikl .' that p E rc pt ion of the

event a influenced in some event_ by Locuc of control,

influences to a certain e xt nt the response to the eve nt. In

addition, though it is likely that locus of control ma,. in-

fluence the r sponse of an individual to certain e ents the

ratings of T iich show no influence from locus of .ontrol.

Exp ication and illustration of ho. locus of contr ol a ffects

th- overall pro.ce: of itre-s awaitE further research.

R-5 Scale

The relationship betr een vent-rat inc and the r e p n c -

to-threat con-truct of repr-r;sion-sen s tization acain is onal:

partially upheld. Si htl y more chan half of the e.encs are

given ratings which correlace significantly with R-S Scale

scores. The R-5 Scale scores, despite correlating signifi-

cantly, can account for only '. of the variance in personal

average rating for the subjects.

These findings would tend to support arguments of

Paykel et al. i1971), who argued for the inclusion of desir-

abilict into tne racing of life cnange events because of

the element of threat implied by undesirable events. The

findings dre consistent vich those of 8mrne ct 31. 1'6b5),

who found repressors to be judged consiiceni cly, considerable '

more weii-adjusted in che e es of others. Thi holds over

in repressors racing the events to be less upieccing chan

sensitizers. However, whether this relationship is main-

1ained across response co the even cto the point of the

usual dependent measures of physical illness or ym. tpcms

and psychological distress or disorder, is a asc er whi.:h

requires further invecs igetion.

LStQ Scale

The eonfirmacion of the h.pochesized relationship be-

tween mode of information processing and perception and

rating of life change e. ent adds a new dimension co che

consideration of che experience of scress. It appears

ctha choosing co process infor ac cr by in egra c in details

into 3 unicar-: picture in i-ome -a, reduce the percei.'ed

stressfulne of certain li fe ch an e event-. Ihe mechanism

.:.f thi : action i- not '.noun but could in'.ol.,e a pierce ived

reduction in th- n utr i e r of i b e ent w which might o fl-et

tr, i ncreasc in the sCever i t of the event resu lting from

v'ent con.olidat ion.

To u -e the ex ample of m o a ne coi ll ge or un .iver-

sit a focu er wo ld tend to vie v thi -, as ran.y semi-

ind Fndent e er ts c h s c h3 ne in eacha i r -' i rat rO

at a college for the fir t time,. s art in c to school, ma k ng

new friend:. ijju-tinc Ec a different cultural ll L3u etc.

,n the other rh-nd to a sc. anni r whos-e prere r ed r, ode is

to incecrate deta i into a un ified *hole. all the above

- ub-e,.'?ents .Lould be percei-.ed a m rel," I mall aspects of a

I jrger e .e t U ihi i t h l 1ar er unit art e'.v nt ma:' cause

more p-'ec to the c ann r than each of the individual Le-

mencs t een bt, the focu r it i- quice li Fl1" that the decree

of 'c r e produced b the nit ar' event is lIe th an the

-ummi c ion of the uscres pr duc. d a each .:. he sub-e.'enc.

se n b, the focus er Thus the relation hipF b et et n event

rau in and mode of information procei. in g appear- to favor

the -'carnn r in hi; format ion of "economy si.'e" chang :" ich

.an overall lorer "Frice" than a group of "co nvenience .:i e"

chan es. Further elu i at ionr of the relat on'h ir. b e e n mode

of in form action r. cessin and the s r e sE lne s- orf v various

li fe .:hsang e .'cre t s a s ..ell a' the m ec ha n i sm of c h a t rel at ion-

ship require further re ar h

Combinations of Personalitv Factors

As uas noted prev iously there seem to bhe t.wo factors

related to the events themselves which appear to determine

hot much their ratings are influenced by the three personal icy

factors. The inability to cla .ssify the ev nt as subject-

contr. lled or fate-controlled apriori results in an ambig-

uous situation '.hcn the subject iis as- d to rate it. The

am iguity of the c,':ntrol of the e'.vent forces the s bject to

impose his/her o.n structure Jupin the event in deec rmining

a rating much as projective personality i assec nment mricaure

requires the subject to structure his/her :.:pperience. In

structuring the e'.'v nt t .. be rated, .. r the life change ivich

which to be coped a person 'ho.e- ori entation is to internal

locus ot control rwo ld project this orientat icn onto the

event resulting in more influence .if locus of control on

the rating of the evenc. in a similar manner, reprez ion-

sen i z a t i on and in for ma ion proc z ing '. uld be e::pEct ed

to be most influential in the ra ings cf those events c h ich

force more of thE structure f.jr the rating to come frjom che


Ionaditi on to ambiguity, of control. alo nentl oned

previous y the level of involved, ent of the subject in the

Event app r s to bh. dir ectly related to the number of per-

Sonality factors ; ith Vhi : ch i t ra ing c rre a tes. The

fort.-s3 E v' cnts can be grouped a follows: those :hos.E

ratings correlate ;.ith none of the personality: measures,

those .uhous ratings correlate which only one of che person-

aiic, r..rasure. those whose racing correlate rich t .o, and

those host ratings correlate with all threc of che person-

al ic,' asores. Ranked in order from no a ignfifican to all

three significant co rrelation the groups include 3:.,

38"' 19o, and 0C4 of the indirect e .en ts, s respect vely. In

term s of ch even r s in:.'-'. in the subject t d irec:tl, the include 12': 2'3 28 and 32' of the ev'encs, respect-

i.el .. The clear progression of decrease tfor indirect eents

and ...f increase for direct events strongl. suggests the grear-

er importance of personalitc- in the perception of events with

dir ec and central inv'. lvement of the subject. The -conclu-

sion reached wouldd be tha cthe rrore important the event is to

the subject direct tl che more his /her person al t atcributCe

,ijll encer int che p rcepcti. o-n of che e n.' n an theoretic all

wu.uld enter into che response co it also.

final po int af discussion concerning chese four roups

of e'.'ernc i- the range of che actcu l racing s generated. The

ev enc the racing o.f i. hi h correlated which one or onl one

ouf ct pera- nralicy measures ha'e ranges from 1 co 95 and

Means of 3.2 and 51.- respecc.i.el The ;ro..up of eventsL the

ratings of which show cto signixfic ant c.: rrelac ions, has a range

of 13 co 31 and a mean of i -.. The grouF of evencts the

racing of rhich correlaccd significance'' witth all three

measures, has a range of 30 to 82 and a mean of 57.8. In the

same sense that Manac e al. (1 75) found differences in Ehe

relationship between life change and illness across 1-E S 3ale

scores to disappear under the extreme amounEs of life change,

it may be ChatL the personal it c actcorI measured in chis stud"

func ion primarily in ev ncts in a mid-range of racing. Ihe

relationships between the event ratings and the three per son-

alit variables may well wash out as the ,e'.encs become either

trivial or de s..a s a in,.

Clearly, though, whether an', personality fac tor influ-

ences, s'. y ematicr al ly, the racing of an event would depend

on factors ocher than the specific person alit factor i n.'oied

It mna be that some events re susceptible, in racing, to

influence from personality. fa.rors, while others are ncr.

Also, some event s may be influenced in ratings by one person-

alit E factor and not another. The *-pecificitv of ev'.ent-rating

influence by differenE per .nali ty factors and the rea son

for this difference among e.encs, j-aitc further research.

Event Group and Personality

The discussion of the theoretical relation betr een locus

of cont rol of che event arni locus of c ontrol of reinfo rcement

as a person 3alit. onsC Lruct. led t:. the h yp-.thesis tch t the

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