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Exemplification of a Method for Scaling Life Events: The PERI Life Events Scale

Barbara Snell Dohrenwend, Alexander R. Askenasy, Larry Krasnoff and Bruce P. Dohrenwend
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 205-229
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136536
Page Count: 25
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Exemplification of a Method for Scaling Life Events: The PERI Life Events Scale
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Abstract

This paper challenges several arguments for rejecting the rationale of Holmes' and Rahe's Social Readjustment Rating Scale and proposes procedural improvements for three aspects of life-event scale construction: construction of a life-event list, selection of judges, and tests of whether judges agree on their ratings. The proposed procedures are illustrated with the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview (PERI) Life Events Scale. This list of 102 events was developed on the basis of surveys of events actually experienced in various populations. Ratings of the amount of change entailed in these events were collected from a community probability sample. Analysis of these ratings suggests that there are group differences, with more of these differences being due to ethnic background than to sex or social class.

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