Assessing Stressful Life Events in a Nigerian Context
Adaptation of Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale
Keywords:stressful life events, Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, assessment, clinical psychologists
Stressful life events have been identified to play significant roles in precipitating psychological disorders. They have consequently become an interesting area of research for clinical psychologists. Thus, appropriate and accurate measurement of stressful life events in particular contexts is very important. This study adapted the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale for studying stressful life events among Nigerians. Fifty one (51) participants aged 25-68 years (23 women and 28 men) completed a modified version of the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale and Edna Fox Life Events Questionnaire, which was used to establish the concurrent validity of the former. Results showed that the modified version of the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale has a concurrent validity estimate of r = .77, df = 49, p < .001 with the Edna Fox Life Events Questionnaire. The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale also had a test-retest reliability estimate of r = .79, df = 49, p < .001. It was concluded that the Scale is a simple and high performance screening instrument that can be used for studying stressful life events among the Ezza of South-east Nigeria.