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The List of Threatening Experiences: a subset of 12 life event categories with considerable long-term contextual threat

  • Traolach Brugha (a1), Paul Bebbington (a1), Christopher Tennant (a1) and Jane Hurry (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2009

In a survey of a random sample of the general population recent life events, collected and rated for long-term contextual threat according to the methods of Brown & Harris (1978), were also recorded where possible on an inventory of life event categories (Tennant & Andrews, 1977). Of the 82·5% of all events collected which were covered by the inventory, 12 of the 67 event categories accounted for 77% of life events with an aetiologicaly significant rating of marked or moderate long-term threat. Where practical and economic constraints oblige research workers to choose the inventory method, a brief list of event categories, such as the List of Threatening Experiences, is recommended in preference to much longer lists.

Corresponding author
1 Address for correspondence: Dr T. Brugha, MRC Social Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF.
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T. H. Holmes & R. H. Rahe (1967). The Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11, 213218.

J. P. Leff & C. Vaughn (1980). The interaction of life events and relatives' expressed emotion in schizophrenia and depressive neurosis. British Journal of Psychiatry 136, 146153.

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E. S. Paykel , B. McGuiness & J. Gomez (1976). An Anglo-American comparison of the scaling of life events. British Journal of Medical Psychology 49, 237247.

C. Tennant & G. Andrews (1977). A scale to measure the cause of life events. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 11, 163167.

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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
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