Subjective evaluation of life events

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Surveyed 50 medical/surgical patients (mean age 59.6 yrs) concerning the occurrence of life events during the preceding year. Their subjective evaluations of the events were obtained for the dimensions of desirability, adjustment, anticipation, and control. (Psychosocial adjustment was measured by a modification of the Profile of Adjustment and Role Skills.) Substantial overlap was found among the 4 dimensions, with the degree of overlap varying as a function of whether persons or events were taken as the units of observation. Overlap was greater when events rather than persons served as the units of observation. This finding has implications for the choice of normative versus idiographic approaches to weighting events. Regarding the evaluative dimensions themselves, overlap was greatest for desirability and least for control. Psychological impairment was the area of psychosocial adjustment primarily associated with subjective evaluations, specifically with desirability and adjustment. It is concluded that results are not promising for the inclusion of anticipation and control as major dimensions of stressfulness. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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