Relational Ethics Scale (RES)

Directions: This scale is designed to measure some of the emotions that:
-existed in the family in which you were raised.
-currently exist in one of your other relationships.
1. I could trust my family to seek my best interests.
2. Individuals in my family were blamed for problems that were not their fault.
3. Pleasing one of my parents often meant displeasing the other.
4. I received the love and affection from my family I deserved.
5. No matter what happened‚ I always stood by my family.
6. At times‚ it seemed one or both of my parents disliked me.
7. Love and warmth were given equally to all family members.
8. At times‚ I was used by my family unfairly.
9. I felt my life was dominated by my parents’ desires.
10. Individuals in my family were willing to give of themselves to benefit the family.
11. I continue to seek closer relationships with my family.
12. I often felt deserted by my family.
Please respond to statements 13-24 as they apply to one relationship in your life.
-If you are MARRIED‚ rate the statements as they apply to your relationship with your spouse.
-If you are WIDOWED‚ rate the statements as you recall they applied to your relationship with your spouse.
-If you are DIVORCED OR SINGLE‚ rate the statements as they apply to your closest relationship excluding parents or children.
13. I try to meet the emotional needs of this person.
14. I do not trust this individual to look out for my best interests.
15. When I feel hurt‚ I say or do hurtful things to this person.
16. This person stands beside me in times of trouble or joy.
17. Before I make important decisions‚ I ask for the opinions of this person.
18. There is unequal contribution to the relationship between me and this individual.
19. When I feel angry‚ I tend to take it out on this person.
20. We are equal partners in this relationship.
21. We give of ourselves to benefit one another.
22. I take advantage of this individual.
23. I am taken for granted or used unfairly in this relationship.
24. This person listens to me and values my thoughts.
Vertical trust and justice‚ vertical loyalty‚ vertical entitlement‚ horizontal trust‚ horizontal loyalty‚ horizontal entitlement
5 = STRONGLY AGREE with the statement.
3 = NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE with the statement.
2 = DISAGREE with the statement.
1 = STRONGLY DISAGREE with the statement.
Vertical trust and justice: items 1‚ 2‚ 7‚ 8‚ 10‚ and 12
Vertical loyalty: items 3‚ 5‚ and 11
Vertical entitlement: items 4‚ 6‚ and 9
Horizontal trust: items 14‚ 16‚ 18‚ 20‚ 23‚ and 24
Horizontal loyalty: items 13‚ 17‚ and 21
Horizontal entitlement: items 15‚ 19‚ and 22

Hargrave‚ T.D.‚ Jennings‚ G. & Anderson‚ W.T. (1991). The development of a relational ethics scale. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy‚ 17(2)‚ 311-320.

Hargrave‚ T. D. & Bomba‚ A. K. (1993). Further validation of the relational ethics scale. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy‚ 19‚ 292-299.

Hargrave‚ T. D. (2000). The essential humility of marriage: Honoring the third identity in couple therapy. Phoenix‚ AZ: Zeig‚ Tucker and Theisen.

Hargrave‚ T. D. (2010). Restoration therapy: A couple therapy case study. Journal of Psychology and Christianity‚ 29(3)‚ 272-277. Retrieved from