The List of Threatening Experiences: the reliability and validity of a brief life events questionnaire

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1990 Jul;82(1):77-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1990.tb01360.x.


During the 23 years since the original work of Holmes & Rahe, research into stressful life events on human subjects has tended towards the development of longer and more complex inventories. The List of Threatening Experiences (LTE) of Brugha et al., by virtue of its brevity, overcomes difficulties of clinical application. In a study of 50 psychiatric patients and informants, the questionnaire version of the list (LTE-Q) was shown to have high test-retest reliability, and good agreement with informant information. Concurrent validity, based on the criterion of independently rated adversity derived from a semistructured life events interview, making use of the Life Events and Difficulties Scales (LEDS) method developed by Brown & Harris, showed both high specificity and sensitivity. The LTE-Q is particularly recommended for use in psychiatric, psychological and social studies in which other intervening variables such as social support, coping, and cognitive variables are of interest, and resources do not allow for the use of extensive interview measures of stress.

MeSH terms

  • England
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Psychiatric Department, Hospital
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results