Family Support Scale

Measure DescriptionSource of measure Dunst, C. J., Jenkins, V., & Trivette, C. M. (1984). Family support scale: Reliability and validity. Journal of Individual, Family, and Community Wellness, 1(4), 45-52.
Mode of administration Self-report
Age range for useParents of young children
Domains AssessedMeasures how helpful different sources of social support have been to the family. Different subscales have been identified by different researchers based on factor analyses. Hanley, Tasse, Aman, and Pace (1998) identify five subscales based on factor analysis: (1) community, (2) spouse and in-laws, (3) friends, (4) specialized/professional, and (5) own parents and extended family.
Related Measures
BurdenTraining needed to administer Minimal staff training required for this self-report measure. Staff need to be familiar with all items before administering to a participant.
Minutes to complete15-20 minutes
# of items18
Adaptation for AIAN useAdaptedNo
Developer allows adaptation?Unclear- contact developer
Used with AIAN populations?Yes
AIAN: Cronbach's alpha range0.78 (reported by Michigan State University).
AIAN: Evidence of validityNot yet available
Other populations: Cronbach's alpha rangeDunst, Jenkins, and Trivette (1984) report Cronbach's alpha of .77, split-half reliability of .75, and test-retest reliability ranging from .41 to .75. Taylor et al. (1993) report Cronbach's alpha of .80. With an ethnically diverse Early Head Start sample, Hanley, Tasse, Aman, and Pace (1998) reported a Cronbach's alpha of .85, split-half reliability of .72, and test-retest reliability of .73. They also report the reliability of subscales: Cronbach's alphas ranged from .60 to .74 and test-retest reliability ranged from .60 to .78.
Other populations: Evidence of validityDunst et al. (1984) report that the FSS relates to various other parent and family outcomes, demonstrating concurrent validity. Hassall, Rose, & McDonald (2005) provide additional evidence of the measure's construct/concurrent validity. They report that the FSS relates significantly to the Parenting Stress Index, i.e. more support related to lower parenting-related stress. They also report that a higher score on the FSS related to internal locus of control, as measured by the PLOC.
SourceDeveloperDunst, Jenkins, and Trivette
SummaryComments about sensitivity to change
General remarksSubscales and factors vary based on the study conducted.