EARLY LIFE EVENTS SCALE

EARLY LIFE EVENTS SCALE
This scale is designed to explore your memories of your childhood. Research suggests that early experiences play a role in later psychological difficulties. Below are a set of questions that tap various aspects of early life. Read each question carefully and rate how true each statement is for you. To do this‚ circle a number under each statement.
Completely                Very                            Sometimes                Fairly                          Very
untrue                                    occasionally              true                             true                             true
                                    true
1                                  2                                  3                                  4                                  5
1.         I often had to give in to others at home
                                    1          2          3          4          5
2          I felt on edge because I was unsure if my parents might get angry with me
                                    1          2          3          4          5
3          I rarely felt my opinions mattered much
                                    1          2          3          4          5
4          There was little I could do to control my parents’ anger once they became angry
                                    1          2          3          4          5
5          If I didn’t do what others wanted I felt I would be rejected
                                    1          2          3          4          5
6          I felt able to assert myself in my family
                                    1          2          3          4          5
7          I felt very comfortable and relaxed around my parents
                                    1          2          3          4          5
8          My parents could hurt me if I did not behave in the way they wanted
                                    1          2          3          4          5
9          I felt an equal member of my family
                                    1          2          3          4          5
10        I often felt subordinate in my family
                                    1          2          3          4          5
11        My parents exerted control by threats and punishments
                                    1          2          3          4          5
12   I often had to go along with others even when I did not want to
                                    1          2          3          4          5.
13   In order to avoid getting hurt I used to try to avoid my parents
                                    1          2          3          4          5
14   The atmosphere at home could suddenly become threatening for no obvious reason
                                    1          2          3          4          5
15   I experienced my parents as powerful and overwhelming
                                    1          2          3          4          5
EARLY LIFE EVENTS SCALE
DESCRIPTION
Early Life Experiences Scale (ELES)
            This scale was developed by Gilbert et al.‚ (2003) to measure emotional memories in one’s family‚ linked to recall of feeling devalued‚ frightened and ha‎ving to behave in a subordinate way. Whereas many recall of early life ask about recalling specific experiences or how one parent acted towards one this scale asks about memories of personal feelings.
This 15-item scale asks participants to rate on a five-point measure (ranging from 1 = completely untrue‚ to 5 = Very true) how frequently each statement was true for them. The scale can be used as a single construct or as three separate subscales: recall of feelings of threat (e.g. “I experienced my parents as powerful and overwhelming”); feeling (un)valued (e.g. “I felt very comfortable and relaxed around my parents”); and submissiveness (e.g. “I often had to give in to others at home”). Gilbert et al.‚ (2003) found Cronbach’s alphas of .89 for threat‚ .85 for submissiveness‚ .71 for (un)valued and .92 for the total score.
SCORING
Reverse score the following items
 eles6 eles eles9
then sum the items into 3 subscales as follows:
Unvalued = eles6r + eles7r + eles9r .
Submissiveness = eles1 + eles2 + eles3 + eles5 + eles10 + eles12 .
Threatened = eles4 + eles8 + eles11 + eles13 + eles14 + eles15 .
REFERENCE

Gilbert‚ P.‚ Cheung‚ M.S.P.‚ Grandfield‚ T.‚ Campey‚ F. & Irons‚ C. (2003). Recall of threat and submissiveness in childhood: Development of a new scale and its relationship with depression‚ social comparison and shame. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy‚ 10‚ 108-115

www.derby.ac.uk/files


DESCRIPTION:
The Early Life Experiences Scale (ELES)
 
This scale was designed to measure recall of perceived threat and subordination in childhood. We decided to keep the scale short in the first instance with the possibility of increasing items in light of research findings. The scale thus consists of 15 items (see Table 1) focusing on recall of perceived threat (six items) and feeling subordinate and acting in a submissive way (nine items). Items were generated in consultation with clinical psychologists from typical statements and experiences reported by patients in psychotherapy. The response measure consisted of a Likert scale with participants required to rate how frequently and how true each statement was for them in their childhood (1 D completely untrue‚ 2 D very occasionally true‚ 3 D sometimes true‚ 4 D fairly true‚ 5 D very true. Three items were reversed in order to minimize any response bias.