The Holmes and Rahe Stress Inventory: The Social Readjustment Rating Scale

In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed this famous Stress Inventory, when they examined the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients - their health conditions and the link to the stressful events. Here you can test yourself.

by Elia Strange

INSTRUCTIONS for the test: Mark down the point value of each of these life events that has happened to you during the previous year. Then total all the points.

You will need a pen and paper for this test or you can print this page out and mark your answers on the sheet.

You will need to score your points.

Life Event Mean Value

1. Death of spouse - 100 points

2. Divorce - 73 points

3. Marital Separation from mate - 65

4. Detention in jail or other institution - 63

5. Death of a close family member - 63

6. Major personal injury or illness - 53

7. Marriage - 50

8. Being fired at work - 47

9. Marital reconciliation with mate - 45

10. Retirement from work - 45

11. Major change in the health or behavior of a family member - 44

12. Pregnancy - 40

13. Sexual Difficulties - 39

14. Gaining a new family member (i.e. birth, adoption, older adult moving in, etc) - 39

15. Major business readjustment - 39

16. Major change in financial state (i.e. a lot worse or better off than usual) - 38

17. Death of a close friend - 37

18. Changing to a different line of work - 36

19. Major change in the number of arguments w/spouse (i.e. either a lot more or a lot less than usual regarding child rearing, personal habits, etc.)- 35

20. Taking on a mortgage (for home, business, etc.) - 31

21. Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan - 30

22. Major change in responsibilities at work (i.e. promotion, demotion, etc.) - 29

23. Son or daughter leaving home (marriage, attending college, joined mil.) - 29

24. In-law troubles - 29

25. Outstanding personal achievement - 28

26. Spouse beginning or ceasing work outside the home - 26

27. Beginning or ceasing formal schooling - 26

28. Major change in living condition (new home, remodeling, deterioration of neighborhood or home etc.)- 25

29. Revision of personal habits (dress manners, associations, quitting smoking) - 24

30. Troubles with the boss - 23

31. Major changes in working hours or conditions - 20

32. Changes in residence - 20

33. Changing to a new school - 20

34. Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation - 19

35. Major change in church activity (i.e. a lot more or less than usual) - 19

36. Major change in social activities (clubs, movies,visiting, etc.) - 18

37. Taking on a loan (car, TV, freezer,etc) - 17

38. Major change in sleeping habits (a lot more or a lot less than usual) - 16

39. Major change in number of family get-togethers - 15

40. Major change in eating habits (a lot more or less food intake, or very different meal hours or surroundings)- 15

41. Vacation - 13

42. Major holidays - 12

43. Minor violations of the law (traffic tickets, jaywalking, disturbing the peace, etc) - 11

Now, add up all the points you have to find your score

150pts or less means a relatively low amount of life change and a low susceptibility to stress-induced health problems.

It is an excellent score, which means that generally you are in control of your life, even though at times your life might seem stressful.

The main thing is - you can reduce your stress levels quite significantly. Have a look at the following articles on how to do it:

What to do when you are stressed out
How to reduce stress instantly

150 to 300 pts implies about a 50% chance of a major health breakdown in the next 2 years.

This means you need to be very watchful about how you feel overall, what you eat and how you look after yourself.

Have a look here if you have signs and symptoms of stress at the moment and learn how to deal with them quickly:

Signs and Stages of stress
Symptoms of Stress

300pts or more raises the odds to about 80%, according to the Holmes-Rahe statistical prediction model.

These are the odds that you can get seriously ill! Of course there are certain events that happen to us unexpectedly and they are out of your control.

Sometimes we cannot do much about them, and we cannot even change how we think about them (as in for example, with a death in the family). In cases like this, remember - time heals.

I would also strongly suggest to make an appointment to see a professional (e.g. a psychologist) if you can. The more you will take care of your own health and learn how to cope with stress, the less chances that your health might suffer.

Other articles you might be interested in:

How stress affects your health: What stress is doing to your body

Signs and stages of stress (Article)

How angry can you get (Test)

7 Reasons for our unhappiness (Article)

How optimistic are you? (Test)

Stress and your Health

Sources: Adapted from Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. Homes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale, Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Vol II, 1967

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