Do Life Events and Social Support Vary across Depressive Disorders?
Using an open ended question along with Holme's and Rahe's Social Readjustment Rating Schedule on a sample of two hundred adult subjects, a suitable scale of stressful life events experienced by the Indian population was constructed and standardized for two time spaces, that is, last one year and life time. Analysis of various demographic variables for this population revealed no differences on this scale for age, marital state, education and occupation. However, marked sex differences in the perceived stressfulness were observed for three of the items. The scale items were further divided into desirable, undesirable and ambiguous and also into personal and impersonal Categories. Statistically significant difference were observed between the desirable and undesirable items, the latter being perceived as more stressful. Norms for total number of life events experienced as well as the presumptive stress score were established for each event for this population. The frequency of occurrence of each event in our population was also obtained. It was Calculated that individuals in our society are likely to experience an average of two stressful life events in the past one year and ten events in a life time without suffering any adverse physical or psychological disturbance. The scale is simple to administer to literate and illiterate subjects.