Table of Contents
Fear of intimacy is generally a social phobia and anxiety disorder resulting in difficulty forming close relationships with another person. The term can also refer to a scale on a psychometric test, or a type of adult in attachment theory psychology.
The fear of intimacy is the fear of being emotionally and/or physically close to another individual. This fear is also defined as "the inhibited capacity of an individual, because of anxiety, to exchange thought and feelings of personal significance with another individual who is highly valued". Fear of intimacy is the expression of existential views in that to love and to be loved makes life seem precious and death more inevitable. It can result from any number of dysfunctional bonding experiences ranging from early childhood parental attachments to relationship failures in adulthood.
Fear-of-Intimacy Scale (FIS)
|not at all characteristic of me||slightly characteristic of me||moderately characteristic of me||very characteristic of me||extremely characteristic of me|
Part A Instructions: Imagine you are in a close, dating relationship. Respond to the following statements as you would if you were in that close relationship. Rate how characteristic each statement is of you on a scale of 1 to 5 as described below, and put your responses on the answer sheet.
Note. In each statement "O" refers to the person who would be in the close relationship with you.
|1.||I would feel uncomfortable telling 0 about things in the past that I have felt ashamed of.|
|2.||I would feel uneasy talking with 0 about something that has hurt me deeply.|
|X3.||I would feel comfortable expressing my true feelings to 0.|
|4.||If 0 were upset I would sometimes be afraid of showing that I care.|
|5.||I might be afraid to confide my innermost feelings to 0.|
|X6.||I would feel at ease telling 0 that I care about him/her.|
|X7.||I would have a feeling of complete togetherness with 0.|
|X8.||I would be comfortable discussing significant problems with 0.|
|9.||A part of me would be afraid to make a long-term commitment to 0.|
|X10.||I would feel comfortable telling my experiences, even sad ones, to 0.
|11.||I would probably feel nervous showing 0 strong feelings of affection.|
|12.||I would find it difficult being open with 0 about my personal thoughts.|
|13.||I would feel uneasy with 0 depending on me for emotional support.|
|X14.||I would not be afraid to share with 0 what I dislike about myself.|
|15.||I would be afraid to take the risk of being hurt in order to establish a closer relationship with 0.|
|16.||I would feel comfortable keeping very personal information to myself.|
|X17.||I would not be nervous about being spontaneous with 0.|
|X18.||I would feel comfortable telling 0 things that I do not tell other people.|
|X19.||I would feel comfortable trusting 0 with my deepest thoughts and feelings.|
|20.||I would sometimes feel uneasy if 0 told me about very personal matters.|
|X21.||I would be comfortable revealing to 0 what I feel are my shortcomings and handicaps.|
|X22.||I would be comfortable with having a close emotional tie between us.|
|23.||I would be afraid of sharing my private thoughts with 0.|
|24.||I would be afraid that I might not always feel close to 0.
|X25.||I would be comfortable telling 0 what my needs are.|
|26.||I would be afraid that 0 would be more invested in the relationship than I would be.|
|X27.||I would feel comfortable about having open and honest communication with 0.|
|28.||I would sometimes feel uncomfortable listening to 0's personal problems.|
|X29.||I would feel at ease to completely be myself around 0.|
|X30.||I would feel relaxed being together and talking about our personal goals.|
Part B Instructions: Respond to the following statements as they apply to your past relationships. Rate how characteristic each statement is of you on a scale of 1 to 5 as described in the instructions for Part A.
|31.||I have shied away from opportunities to be close to someone.|
|32.||I have held back my feelings in previous relationships.|
|33.||There are people who think that I am afraid to get close to them.|
|34.||There are people who think that I am not an easy person to get to know.|
|35.||I have done things in previous relationships to keep me from developing closeness.|
Note. X denotes items reversed for scoring.
|Development and Validation of a Fear-of-Intimacy Scale|
|Author(s):||Carol J. Descutner University of Missouri
Mark H. Thelen University of Missouri
|Source:||Psychological Assessment. Vol. 3 (2) June 1991, pp. 218-225. American Psychological Association|
|Digital Object ID:||10.1037//1040-35220.127.116.11|
|Article Type:||Journal Article|
|Abstract:||Two independent studies showed the Fear-of-Intimacy Scale (FIS) to be a valid and reliable measure of individuals' anxiety about close, dating relationships. Item-total analyses yielded a 35-item scale with high internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Construct validity was established by factor analysis and significant correlations. The FIS correlated positively with a loneliness measure; it correlated negatively with self-disclosure, social intimacy, and social desirability measures. These relations were maintained when partial correlations were conducted to control for social desirability. Subjects' FIS scores were significantly related to self-report data (e. g. , subjects with higher scores reported briefer relationships) and positively related to therapists ratings about clients' fear of intimacy. It was also found that androgynous subjects had less fear of intimacy than masculine and undifferentiated subjects. The FIS holds promise for use in the assessment of clinical populations and for use as a research instrument|
- Reverse score all the questions with an “X” in front of them:
- 5 = 1
- 4 = 2
- 3 = 3
- 2 = 4
- 1 = 5
- Once you’ve reverse scored the “X” items, add up the scores for all of the 35 listed questions.
- The range is 35-175 (35 = lowest FIS level; 175 = highest FIS level). FIS = Fear of Intimacy.
- The U.S. average FIS Score is 80-90
- Females = 75-85
- Males = 85-95
Descutner‚ Carol J.; Thelen‚ Mark H. (1991). Development and validation of a Fear-of-Intimacy Scale. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology‚ 3(2)‚ 218-225.
Doi‚ S. C.‚ & Thelen‚ M. H. (1993). The fear of intimacy scale: Replication and extension. Psychological Assessment‚ 5(3)‚ 377-383
Corcoran‚ K.‚ & Fischer‚ J. (2000). Measures for clinical practice: A sourcebook (Vol. 1). New York‚ NY: The Free Press.
Fallah-Zade H‚ Farzad W‚ 2012. Psychometric Properties of the fear of intimacy scale. Journal of Research in Psychological Health. 5(1): 70-79