Abnormal Psychology A life stress instrument for classroom use. Michael J.Renner and R.Scott Mackin A humorous demonstration of in vivo systematic desensitization: The case of eraser phobia
Most introductory psychology textbooks discuss the Holmes and Rahe (1967) approach to stress and its effect on health, and many texts include Holmes and Rahe’s Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) instrument, which generates stress scores as life change units. Although students seem willing to entertain the possibility that stressors can affect their health, the teaching process is sometimes impaired by the actual SRRS instrument. The SRRS does not include many common events that act as stressors affecting traditional-age college students (e.g., final examinations). It also includes many items that are not meaningful to the typical entry-level college student or that have lost their meaning because of the nearly 30 years that have passed since the original research (e.g., “mortgage over $10,000”). This article describes a similar instrument, which is intended for classroom use in teaching these concepts. Finally, we offer a local set of norms to illustrate the types of scores generated by this instrument and to aid in planning its effective classroom use.