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October 1971

Cluster Analyses of Life ChangesI. Consistency of Clusters Across Large Navy Samples

Author Affiliations

Jeanne Erickson; San Diego, Calif; Los Angeles
From the Fleet Problems and Biochemical Correlates Division (CDR Rahe), and the Operational Psychiatry Division (Mr. Pugh, Mrs. Erickson, and Dr. Gunderson) of the Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, San Diego, Calif, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of California Medical School, Los Angeles (Dr. Rubin).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(4):330-332. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750160042007

US Navy subjects' responses to the 42 separate life-change items contained in the Schedule of Recent Experience questionnaire were examined for interrelationships between the life-change events by a cluster analysis technique. This technique, the Iterative Intercolumnar Correlational Analysis, identified four clusters of life-change events which showed generally high intracluster and low intercluster correlations. These clusters of lifechange events dealt primarily with subjects' personal and social lives, work, marriage, and disciplinary problems. The utility of these findings appears to lie in the possible abbreviation of the life-changes questionnaire and in new quantitative methods for use of life-change data in near-future illness-prediction studies.