Life Events Checklist (Modified)

The Life Events Checklist (LEC) is a self-report measure that assesses the number and impact of stressful life events that a person has experienced in the past year. It was developed by Johnson and McCutcheon in 1980 and is designed for use with older children and adolescents (ages 12 and up).

The LEC contains 54 items that describe a variety of positive and negative life events, such as:

  • Death of a close family member
  • Serious illness or injury
  • Divorce or separation of parents
  • Moving to a new school or neighborhood
  • Starting a new job
  • Getting married
  • Having a baby
  • Getting into a car accident
  • Being robbed or mugged

For each item, the respondent indicates whether they experienced the event in the past year and how much impact it had on their life. The impact is rated on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being no impact and 5 being a major impact.

The LEC has been shown to be a reliable and valid measure of life stress in children and adolescents. It has been used in a variety of research studies to examine the relationship between life stress and mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

The LEC is a useful tool for assessing the amount and impact of life stress in children and adolescents. It can be used to identify individuals who may be at risk for developing mental health problems due to high levels of stress. The LEC can also be used to track changes in life stress over time and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce stress.

Here are some of the strengths of the LEC:

  • It is a well-validated measure of life stress in children and adolescents.
  • It is easy to administer and score.
  • It can be used to assess the amount and impact of life stress over time.

Here are some of the limitations of the LEC:

  • It does not measure the severity of life events.
  • It is not sensitive to cultural differences in the meaning of life events.
  • It may not be appropriate for use with younger children.

Overall, the LEC is a useful tool for assessing life stress in children and adolescents. It is important to be aware of its strengths and limitations when using it.

  • (1) Place an “X” in the space to indicate you have experienced the event
  • (2) Indicate whether you viewed the event as a good or bad event
  • (3) Indicate how much effect the event has had on your life.
Only respond to those events which you have actually experienced during the past year.
1. Moving to a new home
2. New brother or sister
3. Changing to a new school
4. Serious illness or injury of family member
5. Increased number of arguments between parents
6. Mother or father lost job
7. Death of a family member
8. Parents separated
9. Death of a close friend
10. Increased absence of parents from the home
11. Brother or sister leaving home
12. Serious illness or injury of close friend
13. Parent getting into trouble with law / police
14. Parent getting a new job
15. Change in parents’ financial status
16. Trouble with brother or sister
17. Special recognition for good grades
18. Losing a job
19. Making the honor roll
20. Failing a grade
21. Increase in number of arguments with parents
22. Major personal illness or injury
23. Trouble with teacher
24. Failing to make an athletic team / sports team
25. Making failing grades on report card
26. Making an athletic team
27. Trouble with classmates
28. Getting recognition for athletic performance
Other events which have had an impact on your life. List and rate.
29. -‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–
30. -‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–
31. -‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–
32. -‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–‎–
This instrument can be found on pages 87-89 of “In Moving to a New Country: Children and Adolescent’s Adaptation”‚ available online at:
Type of event: Good‚ Bad
Impact of effect of Event on your life: no‚ some‚ moderate‚ great

Johnson‚ J. H.‚ & McCutcheon (1980). Assessing life stress in older children and adolescents:Preliminary findings with the Life Events Checklist. In I. G. Sarason & C. D. Speilberger(Eds.)‚ Stress and Anxiety. Washington D.C.: Hemisphere.

Shenoy‚ Uma A. 1996. In Moving to a New Country: Children and Adolescent’s Adaptation. Virginia Polytechnic Institute. ma‎ster’s Thesis