Measuring family functioning.

A matrix of tools that can be used to measure family functioning in life course intervention research.


Photograph of a family of three playing together in the kitchen of the home.

The LCT-RN Measurement Core identified 40 validated family functioning tools and created a family measurement tool matrix. These tools assess different aspects of family measurement such as organizational processes, belief systems, and communication processes.  We encourage you to try it out and let us know how this helps you further your life course research intervention development and implementation, keeping family front and center.

Download an Accessible Version of this Table (.xlsx spreadsheet)*

     *Citations and contact information for privately accessible surveys are included. 

Measurement Tool Summary Domains Number of Items Respondent of measurement
Assessment of Strategies in Families -Effectiveness ASF-E The purpose of this survey to develop a tool to estimate effectiveness of family function, enabling nurses to determine need for intervention Family stability, family growth, control, and spirituality 40-item survey Parent
Brief Family Relationship Scale The purpose of this tool is to assess an young individuals’ perception of quality of family relationship functioning Cohesion, conflict, expressiveness 19-items Adolescent
Conflict Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ) A brief measure of the relationship dimension in family functioning Distress Test consists of eleven parts, each containing four statements One version for parent to complete and one version for adolescent to complete
Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) The purpose of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale is to assess couples’ relationship satisfaction Marital functioning, marital adjustment, marital quality including adaptability, communication, interpersonal tensions and conflict 32-item scale Couple
FACES IV FACES IV provides a comprehensive assessment of family cohesion and flexibility dimensions using six scales 6 scales of family cohesion and felxiblity: internal boundaries,coalitions, time, space, friends, interests and recreation 62-items questions Multiple Family Members
Family APGAR A brief questionnaire used to measure 5 components of family functioning 5 components of family functioning: adapability, partnership, growth, affection, and resolve 5-item Parent
Family Assessment Device (FAD) The purpose of this scale is to measure family functioning through measures structural, organizational, and transactional characteristics of families. 7 dimensions: problem solving, communication, roles, affective responsiveness, affective involvement, behavioral control and general functioning. 60-item Multiple Family Members
Family Functioning in Adolescents Questionnaire (FFAQ) This measure is based on a model integrating family systems research and the developmental tasks of adolescents. It examines six dimensions of family functioning” Structure, affect, communication, behaviour control, value transmission and external systems. 35-item Adolescent
Family of Origin Scale (FOS) The purpose of the Family of Origin Scale is to assess perceptions of family characteristics and relationships Two dimensions: Autonomy and Intimacy.Autonomy dimensions: 5 subscales. Clarity of Expressions; Respect for Others, Openness to Others, Acceptance of Separation and Loss. Intimacy dimension consists of five subscales: Range of Feelings, Mood and Tone, Conflict Resolution, Empathy, Trust 40-item Parent
Family Star Plus Scales The Family Star Plus scale is an outcome tool designed to support families based on their needs through measuring 5 areas of interest: Parent’s well-being, Meeting Emotional Needs. Keeping Your Children Safe, Social Networks. Physical health, well-being, emotional needs, protection, social networks, education and learning, boundaried and behavior, home and money, progress to work 25-item Parent
Family Assessment Measure (FAM) The purspoe of this tool is to assess family functioning through 7 dimensions across three levels: whole family system, various dyadic relationships, and individual functioning. In addition, the general scale includes social desirability and defensiveness response stylemeasures 7 key dimensions: task accomplishment, role performance, communication, affective expression, involvement, control, values and norms 134-item likert scale Multiple Family Members
Locke Marital Adjustment Questionnaire A 15-item scale that measures marital satisfaction. It was initially used to differentiate well-adjusted couples from distressed (unsatisfied) couples. The 15 items are answered on a variety of response scales.” Intimacy, closeness, marital adjustment 23-items scale, 12 items use multiple choice answers, 9 items use 6-point scale, last item has 7-point scale. Husband and wife
Marital Satisfaction Inventory-Revised MSI-R-is a self-report measure of relationship functioning designed to identify both the nature and intensity of distress in distinct areas of partners’ interaction. Couple satisfaction 150-items Couple
Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale (MAAS) Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale focuses on maternal attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours towards the fetus. Maternal attitudes ante- and post-partum 19-item scale for each of the two instruments Mother
Parent Problem Checklist (PPC) PPC is a questionnaire that measures interparental conflict over child rearing practices and ability to cooperate as parents including disagreement over household rules, discipline and inconsistency between parents. Cooperation, communication, consistent parenting, conflict resolution, positive parenting. 16-item questionnaire Parent
Parent-adolescent Communication Inventory This scale explores family functioning in terms of cohesion, flexibility, communication, and promotion of challenges in young athletes and to study how family functioning is related to character strengths in elite versus recreational athletes. Cohesion, flexibility, communication, and promotion of challenges 42-item scale Adolescent
Parental Styles and Dimensions Inventory The Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ) is used worldwide to assess three styles (authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive) and seven dimensions of parenting The authoritative parenting style includes three dimensions: support and affection, regulation, and autonomy. The authoritarian style also includes three dimensions: physical coercion, verbal hostility, and punishment. Lastly, the permissive style consists of only one dimension, indulgence. 133-item scale Parent
Protective Factors Survey (PFS) A self-report measure of multiple family-level protective factors against abuse and neglect. Social support, family functioning and resilience, nurturing and attachment, concrete supports, caregiver/practitioner relationship 24-items Parent
Relational Support Inventory The purpose of this tool is to measure perceived relational support Four scales: Warmth, Hostility, Respect for Autonomy, and Setting Limits 12-item Parents
Lifespan Sibling Relationship Scale “The purpose of the measure is to assess the sibling relationship in childhood and adulthood.” Frequency and prost of behavior toward the sibling, affect toward the sibling, and beliefs about the sibling and the sibling relationship 48-items Siblings
Parental Bonding Questionnaire (PBI) The PBI Instrument measures parenting and parenting style Two scales: ‘care’ and ‘overprotection’ or ‘control’, created to measure parental styles perceived by the child. 25-item Adult children
Parenting and Family Adjustment Scales (PAFAS) PAFAS consists of two scales assessing parenting practices (Parenting Scale) and parent and family adjustment (Family Adjustment Scale). The purpose of these scales is to assess parenting intervention outcomes across several dimensions Four domains of parenting: Parental consistency, Coercive parenting; Positive encouragement and Parent–child relationship 30-item inventory Parent
Prenatal Attachment Inventory A measure ‘the unique, affectionate relationship that develops between a woman and her fetus’ Affection toward fetus 27-item Pregnant women
Structural Family Interaction Scale (SIFS) “The Structural Family Interaction Scale-Revised (SFIS-R) was designed to measure cohesion and adaptability in relations to family functioning. The SFIS-R can also identify family characteristics linked with identity achievement in youth” Enmeshment/Disengagement, Flexibility/Rigidity, Family Conflict Avoidance/Expression, Mother-Child Cohesion/Estrangement , and the Father-Child Cohesion/Estrangement scale, Spouse Conflict Resolved/Unresolved scale, and the Cross-Generational Triads/Parent Coalition scale 68-items Family member
Quality of Marriage Index “The purpose of the Quality Marriage Index is to assess global satisfaction with one’s marriage and spouse.” Couple satisfaction, commitment, cohesion 6-item Couple
Family Resilience Assessment Scale “To help Health Visitors (HVs) make robust, consistent and reliable assessments of family resilience.” Family belief systems, family organization patterns, and family communication/problem solving 25-item Parent
Family Effectiveness Measure (FEM) The Family Effectiveness Measure (FEM) was developed to address the gap inmeasures valid for use with low-income African American families Measures two separate constructs: The Effective Family Functioning construct and The Ineffective Family Functioning construct 42-item Adult
Security in Family Systems (SIFS) SIFS is a “self-report instrument for indexing children’s aggregate analysis of the whole familyunit as a source of security and threat.” Preoccupation, security and disengagment 24-items Children
Family Functioning Questionnaire in Rehabilitation (FFQR) The purpose of this tool is identifying the role of the family in rehabilitation. Environment, time,communication, support, security, awareness, attitude and behavior, social participation, and engagement in rehabilitation 48-items Parent
Self-Report of Family Functioning (SRFF) The purpose of this tool is to measures attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety Coehesion, Expressiveness, Conflict, Independence, Achievement Orientation, Intellectual-Cultural Orient, Active-Recreational Orient, Religious Emphasis, Organization, Family Sociability, External Locus of Control, Family Idealization, Disengagement, Democratic Family Style, Laissez-Faire Family Style, Authoritarian Family Style, and Enmeshment 75-items Parent
Scale of Racial Socialization for Adolescents (SORS-A) This scale is designed to assess the degree of acceptance of racial socialization attitudes or race-related messages of child rearing in a number of domains of central interest within African American culture. Perception of education, awareness of racism in society, appreciation for spirituality and religion, promotion of Black heritage and culture, appreciation for extended fmaily involvement, acceptance of child rearing 45-item scale Adolescent
Dads’ Active Disease Support Scale (DADS) 24-item questionnaire for separate responses from mom and dad. looks at dad’s involvement in emotional and instrumental tasks relevant to illness management. Dimensions: Family adaptation and coping 24-item questionnaire Both parents
Family Inventory of Life Events (FILE) The purpose of this tool is to assess the accumulation of life events experienced by a family Problem solving, communication, roles, affective responsiveness, affective involvement, behavioral control. 71 family-oriented events on which a parent indicates whether each event occurred in past 12 months. Mother and Child
Impact on Family Scale (IOFS) “The Impact on Family Scale—Modified is used to assess the impact of chronic diseases or disabilities of children on family and social burden.” Financial, general impact, social relations, and coping 33-item Multiple Family Members
Intimate Bond Measure “The Intimate Bond Measure is a self-report measure of two key underlying dimensions of intimate relationships, care and control.” Marital relationship and closeness 24-item Couple
Parental Relationship Questionnaire The purpose of this questionnaire is to capture a parent’s perspective on the parent-child relationship. Attachment, communication, and involvement, as well as information on parenting style, parenting confidence, stress, and satisfaction with the child’s school. Number of items not identified Reportedly: Can be completed in 10-15 minutes The PRQ can be completed in 10-15 minutes by the mother, father or other primary caregiver:-Preschool (ages 2-5)-Child and adolescent (ages 6-18)
The Parenting Alliance Inventory (PAI) PAI is a self-report instrument that measures a specific aspect of the marital relationship related to the commitment and cooperation between the spouses in child rearing. Marital relationship commitment and cooperation 20-item scale Adolescent
Family Questionnaire 5-item scale looking at quality of the relationship between the parental partners and the social network. Responsiveness, communication, organization, social network, andpartner relationship 20-item scale Couple
Feetham Family Functioning Survey (FFFS) The purpose of the Feetham Family Functioning Survey is to measure the relationship between the family and family subsystems. 3 dimensions: 1.“relationship between family and family members,” measures the parent–child and husband–wife relationships; 2. “relationship between family and subsystem,” which measures the relations and activities with whom the family has strong relationships 3. “relationship between family and society,” measures the activities outside the home 21-item Mother
Child Health and Family Functioning Questionnaire (CHFFQ) The purpose of this tool is to measure child vulnerabilty and parent protection 4 dimensions: General concerns about the child’s health, a previous serious illness for the child, a fear that the child might die, and difficulty setting limits on the child’s behavior. Parent