Stress and Illness Essay
Friedman states that there is a relationship between life events and illness (2002, p. 114). The more life events, the more likely it would be for illness to be present. Several studies have been conducted to test the claim.
However, despite the extensive research done on life change, it still has its flaws. With life change, certain life events cause more stress than others. This fact made the need for a means to measure life change in the form of the SRRS, or the Social Readjustment Rating Scale.This scale is composed not only of negative events, but positive ones as well. To aid in measuring life change, a checklist of life events is being utilized by most investigators to evaluate a year.
The checklist was named the Schedule of Recent Experience or SRE (Friedman, 2002, p. 114). The events contained in the SRE are such that call for adjustment in one’s way of living. The aforementioned concepts of SRRS and SRE were applied to both retrospective and perspective studies.In both cases of research, a great relationship was found between “life change and the occurrence of sudden heart attacks, accidents, athletic injuries, leukemia, tuberculosis, diabetes, and many minor medical complaints” (Friedman, 2002, p. 115).
Some also observed the influences magnitude of life change has on the recovery of certain patients. Despite having extensive studies, the methods of research have their flaws (Friedman, 2002, p. 115-116).First, for the retrospective case, people would search for sources of stress to explain certain phenomena.
Second, some studies point to factors other than life events to be more accurate illness predictors. Finally, there are certain life events listed on the SRE that may indicate an impending illness. The life-change approach suffers from many criticisms as it focuses on life changes’ negative effects and failure to consider the population of those who do not develop illness despite experiencing significant life changes.