Behavior: The Hazards of Change

Any great change—even a pleasant change—produces stress in man. That is the implication, at least, of a study recently reported to the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Dr. Thomas Holmes, professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington in Seattle. Furthermore, Holmes found that too many changes, coming too close together, often produce grave illness or abysmal depression.

In the course of his investigation, Holmes devised a scale assigning point values to changes that often affect human beings (see box). When enough of these occur within one year and add up to more than 300, trouble may lie ahead....

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