Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology


The purpose of this study was to add to the knowledge of family of origin assessment by demonstrating the utility of the Family of Origin Scale (FOS; Hovestadt, Anderson, Piercy, Cochran, & Fine, 1985) as a posttreatment measure of change with clinical samples. In this context, a second feature of the study was a further validation of the FOS.

Eighty-one clinical subjects in inpatient alcoholism treatment centers and outpatient mental health clinics were administered the FOS prior to treatment and again following treatment. Although the pretest-posttest model of the study was a quasi-experimental design, the focus was on the FOS's discriminatory utility (or differential validity) in measuring changes in subjects' perceptions of the health of their families of origin after therapeutic intervention.

One previous study addressed the question of the FOS's sensitivity to change of perceptions of family of origin health after psychological treatment using different samples. It was the goal of this study to apply a pre-post test design, using the same sample, to examine any change in perception. Additionally, a second objective addressed the possible differences in view of family of origin health between subjects who completed psychological treatment and those who left early.

The results of this study appear to indicate that only the Autonomy Concept of the FOS is sensitive to change following treatment in the clinical sample. An ancillary analysis of the data supported the results of previous studies in exhibiting the FOS's ability to distinguish between clinical and nonclinical groups.

Implications for research and for the clinical use of the FOS were discussed and recommendations for further study were offered.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access