Student Stress Scale adapted from the Holmes-Rahe

Student Stress Scale adapted from the Holmes-Rahe

Student Stress Scale adapted from the Holmes-Rahe

Complete The Student Stress Scale adapted from the Holmes-Rahe Stress Life Stress Inventory (Holmes & Rahe, 1967) and the Positive and Negative Coping Skills Inventory (Anspaugh, Hamrick, & Rosato, 1991).


  • Review the concept of stress from at least three scholarly sources, including the class lecture notes, your textbook (Spielman, 2014), and in at least one research article on stress and coping (instructions on how to find a scholarly research article is included below). Do not cite websites, especially Wikipedia, Psychology Today, etc.


  • Based on your review of the literature, in essay format (12-point, Times New Roman Font, double-space, 1-inch margins, body of the paper 3-5 pages) discuss the definition of stress and coping, and summarize the various coping mechanisms (emotion-focused coping, problem-focused coping, and avoidant or avoidance coping). Discuss the findings of one research article on stress. Next, report your score from The Student Stress Scale. List in order the three major life stressors you currently face as indicated by the Student Stress Scale. Also, provide a scholarly definition of daily life hassles and from greatest to least, list your five most frequent daily life hassles. Using the Positive and Negative Coping Skills Inventory, discuss whether you rely on more positive or negative coping skills when dealing with stress. Further, identify the coping mechanism(s) (emotion/problem/avoidant) you typically utilize and discuss whether the coping mechanisms you utilize are effective in dealing with your stressors. Finally, and identify three positive coping mechanisms you can use to reduce your stress levels in the future and what you learned about stress. An outline for the paper is located at:


  • You MUST include a title page, abstract, and a reference page using APA format. Your paper will be graded in terms of application of course content and writing quality (including organization, clarity, punctuation, and grammar). Please review the grading rubric attached to the assignment.





Student Stress Scale

The Student Stress Scale focuses on events that may occur in the life of a student to offer you a different perspective for evaluating stress. The Student Stress Scale is an adaptation for college students of the Life Events Scale developed originally by Holmes and Rahe. This popular stress assessment measured the amount of change, using Life Change Units, a person was required to adapt to in the previous year. It was designed to predict the likelihood of disease and illness following exposure to stressful life events. Each life event is given a score that indicates the amount of readjustment a person has to make as a result of change. Some studies have found that people with serious illnesses tend to have higher scores on similar assessments.

For each event that occurred in your life within the past year, record the corresponding score. If an event occurred more than once, multiply the score for that event by the number of times the event occurred and record that score. Total all the scores.

Life Event Mean Value
1. Death of a close family member 100
2. Death of a close friend 73
3. Divorce of parents 65
4. Jail term 63
5. Major personal injury or illness 63
6. Marriage 58
7. Getting fired from a job 50
8. Failing an important course 47
9. Change in the health of a family member 45
10. Pregnancy 45
11. Sex problems 44
12. Serious argument with a close friend 40
13. Change in financial status 39
14. Change of academic major 39
15. Trouble with parents 39
16. New girlfriend or boyfriend 37
17. Increase in workload at school 37
18. Outstanding personal achievement 36
19. First quarter/semester in college 36
20. Change in living conditions 31
21. Serious argument with an instructor 30
22. Getting lower grades than expected 29
23. Change in sleeping habits 29
24. Change in social activities 29
25. Change in eating habits 28
26. Chronic car trouble 26
27. Change in number of family get-togethers 26
28. Too many missed classes 25
29. Changing colleges 24
30. Dropping more than one class 23
31. Minor traffic violations 20

Total Stress Score ________

Score Interpretation:

Researchers determined that if your total score is:

300 or more – statistically you stand an almost 80 percent chance of getting sick in the near future.

150 to 299 – you have a 50-50 chance of experiencing a serious health change within two years.

149 or less – you have about a 30 percent chance of a serious health change.

This scale indicates that change in one’s life requires an effort to adapt and then an effort to regain stability. Stress is a natural by product of adapting and then regaining internal homeostasis. Take note that this assessment considers only the events that occur, not individual perception of these events in life. Perception is a critical part of the ultimate stress experience, so while the Student Stress Scale has value in increasing awareness of potential stress-producing events, ultimately individual perception of the event is an important variable.

Positive and Negative Coping Skills Inventory

People react differently to stressful situations. Following is a list of what would be considered “positive” responses. Check off the appropriate response for each of these. If there are other positive ways that you deal with stress, please list them at the bottom of the list.

Meditate _____ _____ _____
Stretch _____ _____ _____
Engage in progressive muscle relaxation _____ _____ _____
Listen to music _____ _____ _____
Exercise aerobically _____ _____ _____
Watch television _____ _____ _____
Go to the movies _____ _____ _____
Read _____ _____ _____
Work on puzzles or play games _____ _____ _____
Go for a leisurely walk _____ _____ _____
Go to a health club _____ _____ _____
Relax in a steam room or sauna _____ _____ _____
Spend time alone _____ _____ _____
Go fishing or hunting _____ _____ _____
Participate in some form of recreational activity _____ _____ _____
such as golf _____ _____ _____
Do some work in the yard _____ _____ _____
Socialize with friends _____ _____ _____
Sit outside and relax _____ _____ _____
Engage in a hobby _____ _____ _____
___________________________________ _____ _____ _____
___________________________________ _____ _____ _____
___________________________________ _____ _____ _____

Listed below are some negative ways of reacting to stress. Check off the appropriate column for each of these. If there are other negative ways you react to stress, list these at the bottom of the list.

Response Never Sometimes Often
Act violently _____ _____ _____
Yell at someone _____ _____ _____
Overeat _____ _____ _____
Do not eat for long periods _____ _____ _____
Drink for excessive amount of alcohol _____ _____ _____
Drink lots of coffee _____ _____ _____
Smoke tobacco _____ _____ _____
Kick something _____ _____ _____
Throw something _____ _____ _____
Drive fast in a car _____ _____ _____
Pace up and down _____ _____ _____
Bite your fingernails _____ _____ _____
Take tranquilizers _____ _____ _____
Take valium or other drugs _____ _____ _____
___________________________________ _____ _____ _____
___________________________________ _____ _____ _____
___________________________________ _____ _____ _____

You should compare the number of positive and negative responses. If your negative responses outnumber your positive responses, you have reason to be concerned about your stress level. You will need to try some of the positive responses in an attempt to reduce your level of stress.

Modified from Anspaugh DJ, Hamrick MH, Rosato FD: Wellness: concepts and applications, St. Louis, 1991, Mosby.

 General Psychology Written Work Grading Rubric

This rubric is designed to clarify the grading process for written work by detailing the key elements expected for the assignments in this course.


Assignment Specific Criteria

____Definition of stress from a research article, the text, or lecture is provided. (5/5points)

____Definition of coping from a research article, the text, or lecture is provided. (5/5points)

____Problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidant coping are defined from the literature. (5/5points)

____Summarized the results of one scientific study on stress.

____10/10 no significant problems describing the hypothesis/purpose, method, participants, results, and


____8/10 needs some improvement

____5/10 not a scholarly research article

____3/10 needs significant improvement


____Identified which coping mechanism(s) (emotion/problem/avoidant) is/are currently used. (5/5points)

____Student Stress score was reported and interpreted (3 major stressors discussed). (5/5points)

____Term daily hassles is define and 5 personal daily hassles are identified and discussed. (5/5points)

____Results from the Negative and Positive Coping Skills inventory are reported. (5/5points)

____3 positive coping skills are identified for future personal use. (5/5points)


Grammar/Sentence Structure/Clarity/Punctuation 

___ No major grammatical errors and writing is clear and logical: presents no problem for understanding any sentences or paragraphs. (10/10 points)

___Slight grammatical errors and/or parts are unclear: presents minor problem for understanding some sentences/and or paragraphs. (8/10 points)

___Some major grammatical errors and/or parts are unclear: presents moderate problem for understanding some sentences and/or paragraphs. (5/10 points)

___Many grammatical errors and/or writing is unclear: presents major problem for understanding sentences and/or paragraphs (3/10 points)


APA Paper Format

____ No significant problems with APA format (follows guidelines, citations included in the text,

abstract and title page included, and APA formatted reference page). (10/10 points)

____ Slight problems with APA format (follows guidelines, citations included in the text, abstract and

title page included, and APA formatted reference page). (8/10 points)

____ Some problems with APA format (follows some guidelines, citations included in the text, abstract

And title page included, and APA formatted reference page). (5/10 points)

____ Significant problems with APA format (does not follow guidelines, missing citations in the text,

missing abstract, title page, or APA formatted reference page). (3/10 points)


Critical Thinking

____Demonstrated adequate critical thinking skills. (5/5 points)

____Needs some improvement in critical thinking skills. (3/5 points)

____Needs significant improvement in critical thinking skills. (1/5points)


Total Grade: ____/75 points


APA Format: Basic Overview


What is APA format?

APA Style was developed by social and behavioral scientists to standardize scientific writing.  It is used for term papers and research reports and studies.


Manuscript (Paper) Format:

APA style includes a specific format, including Times New Roman 12 point font, double-space between lines of body and text and titles, headings, and block quotations. The reference list is also double-spaced. The first line of every paragraph is indented one-half inch with the exception of the abstract. The text is aligned to the left-hand margin.

APA format also includes a title page (page 1), abstract (page 2), body of the paper (page 3), and a reference list.


Title Page: The title page includes a “Running head” followed by a short title in all caps in the header. Page numbers are inserted in the header on the right side of the paper.  The full title of the paper, the name of the author, and the author’s affiliation is also included on the title page.

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