Life Change, Life Events, and Illness: Selected Papers

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A pioneer in the field of behavioral medicine, the late Thomas H. Holmes developed a set of scales that measured the impact of life changes and events on a person's health, particularly stress-related disorders. This volume collects for the first time the key research studies that emanated from the Holmes laboratory at the University of Washington from 1957 through 1981. Designed to serve as a reference book and a resource for students and scholars interested in life change research, Life Change, Life Events, and Illness provides ready access to the historical record of the Holmes psychosocial laboratory. For archival purposes, editorial revisions have been undertaken only to correct errata, update references, and establish stylistic conformity. The first chapter, written specifically for this volume, places the work of the Holmes laboratory in historical context, probes the beginning of Holme's research hypothesis in studies of the physiology of emotions, and outlines the direction of his research program. The first group of readings review the development, testing, and validation of three innovative research instruments: The Social Readjustment Rating Scale, the Seriousness of Illness Rating Scale, and the Schedule of Recent Experience. Subsequent chapters reconstruct the initial applications of methodologies developed by Holmes and his colleagues, culminating in the formulation of a paradigm for the relationship of life change and illness susceptibility. The final papers illustrate the realms into which life change research expanded in the last decade of Holme's tenure at the laboratory.