Construction of a Scale for the Assessment of the Harmful Effects of the Family of Origin on Engaged Couples on the Verge of Marriage and Evaluation of its Psychometric Properties

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD in Family Counselling, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Ghonbad Kavoos, Ghonbad, Iran


The purpose of this study was to construct a scale for the assessment of the harmful effects of the family of origin on the engaged couples on the verge of marriage and evaluate its validity and reliability. To this end, at first the categories related to the scale construction were identified and the scale was formulated based on them by studying the relevant literature and conducting 19 semi-structured interviews with counselors, experts and 26 engaged couples in the form of qualitative research. Then from among the engaged couples referring to counseling centers in Tehran, 350 people were purposefully selected. To determine the reliability of this scale, Cronbach's alpha method was used, and to determine its validity, a family expressiveness questionnaire and the Family-of-Origin Health Scale were employed. The collected data were analyzed on an exploratory basis. The results of factor analysis by principal components method along with varimax rotation showed the existence of three factors including the negative role of the family of origin, unsuccessful experience in the family of origin and the negative modeling of the family of origin. These three factors explained 50.35% of the total variance of the whole sample. To evaluate the reliability of the scale and to assess the harmful effects of the family of origin, Cronbach's alpha coefficients and internal consistency methods were used. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0.81 for the whole test and 0.78, 0.78 and 0.75 for the subscales, respectively. Its convergent validity coefficient with the family expression questionnaire was 0.62, and its divergent validity coefficient with the Family-of-Origin Health Scale was 0.55. The conclusion is that the researcher-made scale has acceptable reliability and validity, and it can detect the detrimental effects of the family of origin in clinical research and couple therapies. The importance of this research is due to the development of a local scale appropriate to Iranian culture to identify the interventionist and harmful effects of families in marriages.


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