Life Events Stress Scale

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Originally created as a result of exhaustive 1967 and 1970 studies, conducted by Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe, the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale was found to validate the link between stress and illness.

The scale measures a person's stress level in relation to a number of 'Life Change Units' that apply to events in the previous 12 months of an individual's life. The life event units are added together and the final score provides an indication of current levels of stress and it's relation to potential health outcomes.

Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale

Life Event Life Change Units Your Life Events
Death of a spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Imprisonment 63
Death of a close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Dismissal from work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gain a new family member 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Change in frequency of arguments 35
Major mortgage 32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work 29
Child leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse starts or stops work 26
Begin or end school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in working hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in schools 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Minor mortgage or loan 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family reunions 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violation of law 11

Your Stress Score


A stress score of 300+, you might be at risk of illness.
A stress score between 150 and 300, your risk of illness is moderate.
A stress score of 150 or less you have only a slight risk of illness.

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