Parent-child relationship quality

Scale: Network of Relationships Inventory (NRI)-short form — Parent Support subscale

What it measures:

  • A youth’s perception of support from a primary caregiver.

Intended age range: 8- to 15-year-olds (grades 3—9); items are likely appropriate for youth older than grade 9.

Brief description: This measure consists of 7 items that assess a youth’s perception of support from an important person in their life (e.g., mother, father, primary caregiver, etc). Sample items include: “How much does this person treat you like you’re admired and respected,” “How often do you tell this person everything that you are going through?,” and “How much does this person have a strong feeling of affection (loving or liking) toward you?” Each item is rated on a 5-point scale: Little or none, Somewhat, Very much, Extremely much, or The most.

Rationale: This measure was selected because of its grounding in theory, wide developmental applicability, and evidence of reliability and validity. This measure also can be administered more than once to assess support from multiple primary caregivers.

Cautions: None.

Special administration information: It is possible that mentoring programs serve youth where one or both parents are not primary caregivers or that another individual, like a grandparent, may serve as a primary caregiver or co-parent. In this case, a slight revision to the NRI instructions may be appropriate. For example, a revision could read, “Everyone has a number of people who are important in his or her life. These questions ask about your relationships with your mother, father, or other adult in your life that has been most important in raising you.”

How to score: Each item is scored on a 5-point scale from 1 (Little or none) to 5 (The most). A support score is computed by taking the average of the 7 items.

How to interpret findings: Higher scores reflect higher levels of perceived support.

Access and permissions: The measure is available for non-commercial use with no charge and can be accessed online here as part of the manual for the NRI. Prior to use, review the terms of use for this measure (see p. 4 of the manual).

Alternatives: The 6-item Connectedness to Parents subscale of the Hemingway is an alternative measure with strong research support. Two other subscales from the Hemingway serve as recommended measures for other outcome domains (i.e., Connectedness to School; Connectedness to Peers).

Citation: Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (1985). Children's perceptions of the personal relationships in their social networks. Developmental Psychology, 21, 1016–1022.

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