• These studies were supported in part by a grant from the Firestone Foundation. We wish to thank Lawrence M. Baldwin, PhD, who participated in the planning and data collection of several of these studies, Catherine Little-Bert, MA, who supervised the data collection and conducted the data analyses, and Noreen Andreoli, MA, for her assessment of families.

  • Ivan W. Miller, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Director, Family Research Program, Nathan B. Epstein, MD, is Chairman and Medical Director, Duane S. Bishop, MD, is Associate Professor and Clinical Director, Gabor I. Keitner, MD, is Assistant Professor and Director of the Affective Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University/Butler Hospital. Address reprint requests to Dr. Miller, Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906.


This paper reports a series of studies investigating the reliability and validity of the McMaster Family Assessment Device (FAD). The results indicated that the FAD has: (a) adequate test-retest reliability, (b) low correlations with social desirability, (c) moderate correlations with other self-report measures of family functioning, and (d) differentiates significantly between clinician-rated healthy and unhealthy families. Cut-off scores for identifying healthy and unhealthy families also were developed which have adequate sensitivity and specificity. Additionally, the relationships between the FAD, Family Unit Inventory, and FACES-II suggests that the cohension and adaptability scales from the FACES-II have a linear relationship with health/pathology.