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A Life Events Scale for Armed Forces personnel

Indian Journal of Psychiatry
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.31580
  • Original Research Paper


Background: Armed Forces personnel are routinely exposed to a number of unique stressful life events. None of the available scales are relevant to service personnel. Aim: To construct a scale to measure life events in service personnel. Methods: In the first stage of the study open-ended questions along with items generated by the expert group by consensus method were administered to 50 soldiers. During the second stage a scale comprising 59 items and open-ended questions was administered to 165 service personnel. The final scale of 52 items was administered to 200 service personnel in group setting. Weightage was assigned on a 0 to 100 range. For normative study the Armed Forces Medical College Life Events Scale (AFMC LES) was administered to 1200 Army, 100 Air Force and 100 Navy personnel. Results: Service personnel experience an average of 4 life events in past one year and 13 events in a life-time. On an average service personnel experience 115 life change unit scores in past one year and 577 life change unit scores in life-time on the AFMC LES. The scale has concurrent validity when compared with the Presumptive Stressful Life Events Scale (PSLES). There is internal consistency in the scale with the routine items being rated very low. There is a pattern of uniformity with the civilian counterparts along with differences in the items specific to service personnel. Conclusions: The AFMC LES includes the unique stresses of service personnel that are not included in any life events scale available in India or in the west and should be used to assess stressful life events in service personnel.

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