Family Environment Scale: Children’s Version

Purpose: Designed to measure a young child’s subjective appraisal of their family environment.

Population: Ages 5-12.

Score: 10 scores.

Time: Not reported.

Authors: Christopher J. Pino, Nancy Simons, and Mary J. Slawinowski.

Publisher: Slosson Educational Publications, Inc.

Description: The Children's Version of the Family Environment Scale (CVFES) is a downward extension of the Family Environment Scale (FES). As such, its purpose is to enable children, ages 5 to 12 to provide self-reports of family relationships.

Scoring: Children's perceptions of 10 dimensions in three general areas of family functioning are assessed: Relationship Dimensions (Cohesion, Expressiveness, and Conflict); Personal Growth Dimensions (Independence, Achievement Orientation, Intellectual-Cultural Orientation, Active-Recreational Orientation, and Moral-Religious Emphasis); and System Maintenance Dimensions (Organization and Control).

Reliability: The authors report that the 4-week test-retest reliability was .80. No range of reliabilities is given, so one presumes that this is the reliability for the total score, even though no indication is given that a total score should be computed. Information about differences in reliabilities for different ages should also be given.

Validity: The validity of the CVFES rests on the validity of the FES and the pictures developed to tap its content. While the FES has adequate reliability, the evidence for its validity is weak. In developing the CVFES, the authors grouped the items of the FES so that a smaller number of items would tap the same content as the adult version. They then chose those items which "best" cut across the nine FES scales, but they do not indicate what their criteria were.

Norms: As noted by the authors, the standardization sample for the CVFES is very restricted: 158 children from grades 1 to 6 of the Buffalo parochial schools. No specific breakdown of the sample is provided.

Suggested Uses: Reviewers have recommended that the CVFES should be considered an experimental instrument and as such, should be used as part of an assessment battery in clinical and research settings.