Assessment of life events using domain -specific appraisals

Fritz Anthony Galette, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of life events using a multidimensional appraisal scale. In order to achieve this, college students were asked to rate the impact of certain life events from six perspectives. These perspectives, referred to as domain-specific appraisals, related to the perceived impact of life events on basic life areas that include one's mood, social relations, self-image, role/responsibility, outlook on life, and sense of freedom. These six appraisal domains, identified over the course of an ongoing research project, have been found to represent life areas for college students commonly impacted by life events and were incorporated into a scale entitled the Domain-Specific Appraisal Scale (DSAS). The participants in the present study were 132 undergraduate students: 70 females and 62 males residing on the Rose Hill Campus at Fordham University. All participants were given a questionnaire packet containing the DSAS, the Life Experiences Survey, the Ways of Coping Checklist, the Mental Health Inventory, the Perceived Social Support from Friends Scale, and the Neuroticism. Extraversion Openness-Five Factor Inventory. Results provided evidence that the DSAS is a useful and valid instrument for assessing the impact of life events. In comparison to the Life Experiences Survey, the DSAS produced similar correlations with measures of personality, coping, and social support, and was a better predictor of psychological distress and well-being. In general, the predicted relationships between domain-specific appraisal and life events impact, personality, and psychological health were supported. Suggestions for future research included implementation of the DSAS with different populations to examine whether the same domains emerge as life commonly impacted by life events.

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Recommended Citation

Galette, Fritz Anthony, "Assessment of life events using domain -specific appraisals" (2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9964566.