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Although everyone responds differently, major life changes are some of the biggest causes of stress, both positive and negative. This interactive tool gauges your stress level based on the number of life changes you have had recently. Your score shows a rough estimate of your current stress level and the likelihood that you will have health problems due to stress in the next 12 to 18 months.

Check all of the events that have occurred in the past 6 months to find out your stress score.

Adapted with permission from: Miller MA, Rahe RH (1997). Life changes scaling for the 1990s. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 43(3): 279–292.

After you use this interactive tool, you will be better able to see how much stress life changes are causing you. Your score will appear as one of the following:

  • You have low stress.
  • You have mild stress.
  • You have moderate stress.
  • You have high stress.

If you have a moderate or high stress level, you are more likely to develop a stress-related illness in the near future.

As with all screening tools, the results of this tool are only an estimate. The way you deal with stress depends on several things. These include your ability to cope with change (resiliency), how significant life events are to you, and how much support you get from family and friends. There may also be events that cause you stress that are not included in this tool.

Your results can give you a rough measurement of your stress level due to life changes. If you have moderate or high amounts of stress in your life, consider what you can do to avoid adding more stress to your life and what you can do to cope with current stress.

There are a number of things you can do to cope well with life stress. For more information on stress and what you can do about it, see the topics Stress Management and Managing Job Stress.

Other Works Consulted

  • Miller MA, Rahe RH (1997). Life changes scaling for the 1990s. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 43(3): 279–292.

  • Sadock BJ, Sadock VA (2007). Psychosomatic medicine. In Kaplan and Sadock's Synopsis of Psychiatry, 10th ed., pp. 813–838. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


By: Healthwise Staff Current as of: January 16, 2014
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry

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