The social support inventory (SSI): a brief scale to assess perceived adequacy of social support



The development of a brief measure to assess satisfaction with obtained social support using Simultaneous Components Analysis (SCA) is described. In the first study the component structure of the Social Support Questionnaire (Van Sonderen, 1991) was determined in a sample of men ( = 401) and women ( = 496) that were drawn from the general population. Five components could be distinguished that were similar in both samples. The obtained solution was replicated, using confirmatory factor analyses in two samples of men and women respectively that were similar to the two samples used in the exploratory analysis, without significant loss of explained variance. In the second study, a sample of married women ( = 668) from the general population filled in the Social Support Questionnaire twice: (1) with reference to their spouse and (2) with reference to others but their spouse. It appeared that the same component structure was applicable to different sources of social support. It was decided to drop one scale from the final questionnaire, because it referred to giving social support rather than receiving support. The questionnaire, the Social Support Inventory (SSI), comprises 20 descriptions of social support pertaining to Emotional Support, Informative Support, Social Companionship, or Instrumental Support. The internal consistencies of the subscales are satisfactory, with alpha values ranging from 0.70 to 0.86. Further, some support for the convergent and divergent validity of the SSI was found. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.