Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL)

Instructions: This scale is made up of a list of statements each of which may or may not be true about you. For each statement circle “definitely true” if you are sure it is true about you and “probably true” if you think it is true but are not absolutely certain. Similarly‚ you should circle “definitely false” if you are sure the statement is false and “probably false” if you think it is false but are not absolutely certain.
1. If I wanted to go on a trip for a day (for example‚ to the country or mountains)‚ I would have a hard time finding someone to go with me.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
2. I feel that there is no one I can share my most private worries and fears with.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
3. If I were sick‚ I could easily find someone to help me with my daily chores.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
4. There is someone I can turn to for advice about handling problems with my family.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
5. If I decide one afternoon that I would like to go to a movie that evening‚ I could easily find someone to go with me.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
6. When I need suggestions on how to deal with a personal problem‚ I know someone I can turn to.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
7. I don’t often get invited to do things with others.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
8. If I had to go out of town for a few weeks‚ it would be difficult to find someone who would look after my house or apartment (the plants‚ pets‚ garden‚ etc.).
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
9. If I wanted to have lunch with someone‚ I could easily find someone to join me.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
10. If I was stranded 10 miles from home‚ there is someone I could call who could come and get me.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
11. If a family crisis arose‚ it would be difficult to find someone who could give me good advice about how to handle it.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
12. If I needed some help in moving to a new house or apartment‚ I would have a hard time finding someone to help me.
 1. definitely false
 2. probably false
3. probably true
4. definitely true
 Primary Reference:

Cohen‚ S.‚ Memelstein‚ R.‚ Kamarck‚ T.‚ & Hoberman‚ H. (1985). Measuring the functional components of social support. In I.G. Sarason & B. Sarason (Eds.)‚ Social support: Theory‚ research and application (pp.73-94). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

 Type of Measure: Modified. Original scale consists of 40 items (ten items in each of the four sub-cales measuring separate aspects of social support). The modified version includes only three sub-scales (the self-esteem sub-scale was excluded because it overlaps with the self-esteem measure) and only four highest-loading items for each sub-scale.
Purpose: To assess perceived availability of four types of social support (appraisal‚ belonging‚ self-esteem‚ and tangible). Availability of social support has been linked to reduced mortality (Rosenberg‚ Orth-Gomer‚ Wedel‚ & Wilhemsen‚ 1993) and improved psychological state (Cohen & Wills‚ 1985).
Description: Respondents indicate the extent to which sentences describing availability of different types of social support in their lives are true or false. No time frame or referent period is used.
Scaling: 0 = Definitely False; 1 = Probably False; 2 = Probably True; 3 = Definitely True
# items: 12
Sample items: “If I were sick‚ I could easily find someone to help me with me daily chores.” (Tangible) “I don’t often get invited to do things with others.” (Reversed; belonging) “When I need suggestions on how to deal with a personal problem‚ I know someone I can turn to.” (Appraisal)
Psychometrics:
Reliability: undergraduate students‚ alpha = .77 – .86 general population‚ alpha = .88 – .90
Validity: Correlates positively with other support scales (Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors)‚ with number of close friends‚ and with the measure of the quality of marital relationships (Partner Adjustment Scale). The sub-scales are also associated in the predicted direction with related trait measures: self-esteem subscales correlates with self-esteem measure whereas appraisal subscale correlates with self-disclosure measure.
ISEL 12 scoring
We are currently using a shorter version of the ISEL consisting of 3 subscales with 4 items in each. Please see the subscales below. To score‚ sum across all items (reverse- code items 1‚ 2‚ 7‚ 8‚ 11‚ 12).
Appraisal: item numbers 2‚ 4‚ 6‚ 11
Belonging: item numbers 1‚ 5‚ 7‚ 9
Tangible: item numbers 3‚ 8‚ 10‚ 12
 Scoring:
Reversed Items: 1‚ 2‚ 7‚ 8‚ 11‚ 12
Appraisal Subscale: Sum items: 2R‚ 4‚ 6‚ 11R
Belonging Subscale: Sum items: 1R‚ 5‚ 7R‚ 9
Tangible Subscale: Sum items: 3‚ 8R‚ 10‚ 12R
Overall Support: Sum of 3 Subscales