Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Gilbert Mazer

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Hovestadt


The major purpose of this two-part study was to contribute to the body of knowledge concerned with the construct validity of the Family of Origin Scale (FOS). The issues of construct and discriminative validity were specifically addressed. The first phase was an attempt to empirically establish the underlying factor structure of the Family of Origin Scale (FOS) through factor analytic techniques. The analysis utilized data collected from a previously studied population (i.e., college students) and a demographically different population (i.e., prison inmates). Results from this study indicate that the FOS appears to measure at least seven distinct factors/constructs, four of which correspond closely to the original formulation. In both analyses a single factor emerged that accounted for a large percentage of the common factor variance. This factor was heterogeneous, containing items associated with other constructs.

The second phase utilized an analysis of variance procedure to compare the individual item means for the two groups. Examination of these data suggests that the FOS discriminated accurately between these two groups along two dimensions on 35 of 40 items. An ad hoc analysis of variance was performed on the mean item ratings contained in the common factor (Factor 1) from each of these two groups in an effort to establish whether these items would accurately discriminate between groups. Results from this analysis suggest that these items do indeed discriminate between selected groups.

As a consequence of this study it was concluded that the FOS measures at least seven distinct and identifiable constructs, including one which appears to account for most of the variability measured by the instrument. It was also concluded that the items contained on the FOS accurately discriminate between divergent populations.

Research and clinical implications were proposed, and recommendations for further research were offered.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons