Juvenile Love Scale: A Child’s Version of the Passionate Love Scale

Juvenile Love Scale: A Child’s Version of the Passionate Love Scale

ELAINE HATFIELD1 AND DANIELLE YOUNG, University of Hawaii

Hatfield and Walster (1978) defined passionate love as “a state of intense longing for union with another.” Reciprocation is “associated with fulfillment and ecstasy,” whereas unrequited love is “associated with emptiness, anxiety, or despair (p. 9).” Though the Passionate Love Scale (PLS) for adults has been used for several decades (Hatfield, Rapson, & Martel, 2007), it was not until 1983 that we developed a companion scale to measure passionate love in young children and adolescents. Because passionate love has been described as “puppy love,” “lovesickness,” and “infatuation” (labels all ideologically associated with young love), it seems to be specifically relevant to measure this concept in younger age groups. The Juvenile Love Scale (JLS) is an exact equivalent of the PLS. (A detailed description of the PLS is provided elsewhere in this volume.) The JLS taps cognitive, emotional, and behavioral indicants of “desire for union.”

Description

The Juvenile Love Scale (JLS) is designed to measure passionate love in children from 3 to 18 years of age. The JLS, like the PLS, comes in a short form (15 items) and a long form (30 items). Researchers have used two techniques in administering the JLS, depending on the age of the participants.

If children are 3 to 7. The first step in administering the JLS is to make sure the children understand the concepts of boyfriend and girlfriend (almost all do), the 15 or 30 test items (almost all do), and how to use the response scale.

The response scale is explained first. Essentially, one wants to teach children that, when the experimenter makes a statement, they can indicate how much they agree via a 9-point scale. This is done in the following way: Children are shown a large “ruler” with dimensions of 4 × 20 inches.

It is divided into nine blocks. The first block is labeled (1) Agree Very Little. The last block is labeled (9) Agree Very Much. The experimenter then conducts several tests to teach children how to respond via the scale. (For a more detailed example, see Hatfield, Schmitz, Cornelius, & Rapson, 1988.)

After it has been confirmed that children understand and can use the scale, the experimenter then proceeds to administer the JLS. Researchers, such as Greenwell (1983), have found that even children as young as 3 or 4 years of age have no trouble understanding this scale. (For more information on these procedures, see Greenwell, 1983.)

If children are older. Once children are 7 or 8 years old, one can simply follow the same procedure used in administering the PLS to older adolescents and adults.

Response Mode and Timing

Respondents either put a block in the appropriate square (if they are young) or circle the number indicating how true each statement is for them (if they are older). The JLS is generally given individually. Once children are 7 or 8, it can be given in groups. How long it takes to explain the scale depends on the children. Usually, the short (15 items) version of the JLS takes appropriately 25 minutes and the long version (30 items) takes 40 minutes to complete.

Scoring

The individual items are simply summed to produce a total score. Some researchers, such as Hatfield and Sprecher (1986), have interpreted the scores (in adolescents and adults) this way:

106–135 points = Wildly, recklessly, in love

86–105 points = Passionate but less intense

66–85 points = Occasional bursts of passion

45–65 points = Tepid, infrequent passion

15–44 points = The thrill is gone

Generally, however, the scale has been used to investigate gender and group differences.

Reliability

Greenwell (1983) provides statistical evidence that the JLS is internally consistent and reliable. In various samples, coefficient alphas were found to range from .94 to

.98. When older children and adolescents were asked to complete both the PLS and the JLS, they received identical scores on the two scales. This is not surprising, since the scales are designed to be identical, differing only in the difficulty of the language. In various populations, the JLS and PLS have been found to correlate .88 for children and .87 for adults. Thus, it is clear that the PLS and the JLS are measuring the same construct.

Greenwell (1983) also provided information on item-by- item correspondences. She found items to be highly inter- correlated. She also correlated each item with its own scale total, the other scale total, and the combined total of all 60 items (i.e., she used the long versions of both the JLS and the PLS). All items correlated highly with all totals, with 67 items in the .25 to .50 range, 221 in the .51 to .75 range, and 59 in the .76 to 1.00 range.

Validity

If the JLS is valid, it should be related to other variables in ways expected by past theoretical and empirical work. There is some evidence for such construct validity. Greenwell (1983) provided evidence that the JLS and the PLS are virtually equivalent measures of passionate love, and that both scales reflect the real-world experience of “being in love.” For example, she asked children and adolescents to describe their feelings for a person whom they currently love or had loved in the past, or (if they had never been in love) with whom it was as close as they had come to being in love. She found that individuals who had experienced passion did score higher on both the JLS and the PLS than did those who had never been in love. (For more information on the JLS, see Hatfield et al., 1988, who provided information on the JLS scores typically secured by boys and girls, from 4 to 18 years of age.) Furthermore, Hatfield, Brinton, and Cornelius (1989) found that children and adolescents prone to anxiety tended to score higher on the PLS than did their less anxious peers.

Other Information

The JLS is copyrighted by Elaine Hatfield and Marilyn Easton. Permission is automatically given to all clinicians and researchers who wish to use the scale in their research (free of charge).

1Address correspondence to Elaine Hatfield, 2430 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822; e-mail: [email protected]

Juvenile Love Scale (Forms A and B)

Instructions for both scale forms: We are trying to find out how children feel when they love somebody in a very special way. Some children think about a special person a lot, get very excited about him or her, and want to get very, very close. Sometimes we call this a “crush.” Please list on the lines that follow the name of the eight people you have loved or liked most in your life:

Name Male or female

1.                                                                     

2.                                                                     

3.                                                                     

4.                                                                     

5.                                                                     

6.                                                                     

7.                                                                     

8.                                                                     

Now draw a circle around the name of the person you’d feel most excited about seeing right now or used to get excited about seeing if that person isn’t around anymore. Do not choose mother, father, or brother or sister. If you aren’t excited about him/her right now, try to remember how you felt when you did feel the most excited. If you don’t think you have ever felt very excited, try to answer anyway, remembering how you did feel.

Each question is followed by a 9-point rating scale. If you circle the 9, it means you agree very much with what the item says. If you circle the 1, it means you agree very little with what the item says. Try to circle the number that most closely explains how you do feel.

Juvenile Love Scale (Form A)

  1. I feel like things would always be sad and gloomy if I had to live without    forever.

  2. Did you ever keep thinking about   when you wanted to stop and couldn’t?

  3. I feel happy when I am doing something to make    happy.

  4. I would rather be with    than anybody else.

  5. I’d feel bad if I thought    liked somebody else better than me.

  6. I want to know all I can about     .

  7. I’d like     to belong to me in every way.

  8. I’d like it a lot if     played with me all the time.

  9. If I could, when I grow up I’d like to marry (live with)     .

  10. When        hugs me my body feels warm all over.

  11. I am always thinking about     .

  12. I want    to know me, what I am thinking, what scares me, what I am wishing for.

  13. I look at    a lot to see if he/she likes me.

  14. When

     

  15. When I think is around I really want to touch him/her and be touched. might be mad at me, I feel really sad.

Possible answers range from

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Agree Very Little

Agree Very Much

Juvenile Love Scale (Form B)

  1. When        is around I laugh and cry more often.

  2. I feel like things would always be sad and gloomy if I had to live without    forever.

  3. Sometimes I feel shaky all over when I see      .

  4. Sometimes I think it is fun just to watch    move around.

  5. Did you ever keep thinking about   when you wanted to stop and couldn’t?

  6. I feel happy when I am doing something to make    happy.

  7. I would rather be with    than anybody else.

  8. I’d feel bad if I thought    liked somebody else better than me.

  9. No one else could like    as much as I do.

  10. I want to know all I can about     .

  11. I’d like     to belong to me in every way.

  12. I will always like     .

  13. I feel all happy inside when    looks at me and I look at     .

  14. I’d like it a lot if     played with me all the time.

  15. If I could, when I grow up I’d like to marry (live with)     .

  16. When is the person who can make me feel the happiest. hugs me my body feels warm all over.

  17. I feel all soft and happy inside about     .‌

  18. I am always thinking about     .

  19. If I were away from    for a long time I would be very lonely.

  20. Sometimes I can’t do my school work because I am thinking about     .

  21. I want    to know me, what I am thinking, what scares me, what I am wishing for.

  22. Knowing that    cares about me makes me feel more like I am OK.

  23. I look at    a lot to see if he/she likes me.

  24. If     needed help from me, I’d stop what I was doing, even if it was lots of fun and go help him (her).

  25. When can make me feel bubbly, like coke.

  26. ___  is around I really want to touch him/her and be touched.

  27. Living without    would be very, very sad.

  28. I want to hug    very, very tight.

  29. When I think    might be mad at me, I feel really sad.

Possible answers range from

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Agree Very Little

Agree Very Much

References

Greenwell, M. E. (1983). Development of the Juvenile Love Scale. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

Hatfield, E., Brinton, C., & Cornelius, J. (1989). Passionate love and anxiety in young adolescents. Motivation and Emotion, 13, 271–289. Hatfield, E., Rapson, R. L., & Martel, L. D. (2007). Passionate love and sexual desire. In S. Kitayama & D. Cohen. (Eds.), Handbook of cultural psychology (pp. 760–779). New York: Guilford Press.

Hatfield, E., Schmitz, E., Cornelius, J., & Rapson, R. (1988). Passionate love: How early does it begin? Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 1, 35–52.

Hatfield, E., & Sprecher, S. (1986). Measuring passionate love in intimate relations. Journal of Adolescence, 9, 383–410.

Hatfield, E., & Walster, G. W. (1978). A new look at love. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.