Remembering Life Events
Most modern quantitative investigations of life stress depend upon cataloging the life experiences of individual subjects retrospectively over periods ranging from months to years (Dohrenwend & Dohrenwend, 19774; Gunderson & Rake, 1974). Although the unreliability of memory for important events in other contexts is well known (Anderson & Anderson, 1967; Haggard, Brekstad & Shard, 1960; Mechanic & Newton, 1965; Pany, Balter & Cisini, 1970–71; US National Health Survey, 1961, 1963; Wenar & Coulter, 1962), little attention has been paid the issue in relation to studies of life stress (Casey, Masuda, & Holmes, 1967). This paper reports decrements in recall over an l8 month period for stressful events in general, 41 individual events, and various subgroups of events.
KeywordsLife Stress Fateful Event National Health Survey Salient Event Social Field
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