The Family Quality of Life Scale (FQOL)

Background:

Quality of life has received much attention in recent years as a method of determining general well-being. Consequently, a wide range of tools now exist measuring quality of life in a variety of ways. However, family quality of life has received not nearly the same level of attention despite its crucial role in shaping our young lives. For this reason, the Family Quality of Life Scale (FQOL) was developed by (Hu, Summers, Turnbull, & Zuna, 2011).

Psychometrics:

The psychometric details of the Family Quality of Life Scale (FQOL) are discussed in (Hu, Summers, Turnbull, & Zuna, 2011) and also in the scoring key document attached below.

Author of Tool:

Beach Center on Disability

Key references:

Hoffman, L., Marquis, J., Poston, D., Summers, J. A., & Turnbull, A. (2006). Assessing family outcomes: Psychometric evaluation of the beach center family quality of life scale. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68(4), 1069-1083.

Beach Center on Disabilities. (2006). Family Quality of Life Scale. Beach Center on Disabilities, Lawrence, KS, USA.

Hu, X., Summers, J. A., Turnbull, A., & Zuna, N. (2011). The quantitative measurement of family quality of life: A review of available instruments. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55, 1098-1114.

Primary use / Purpose:

The Family Quality of Life Scale (FQOL) is a 25-item inventory rate on a 5 point Likert-type scale. Its purpose is to measure several aspects of families’ perceived satisfaction in terms of quality of family life. Family quality of life is measured under five domains: Family Interaction, Parenting, Emotional Well-being, Physical / Material Well-being, and Disability-Related Support.

FAMILY QUALITY OF LIFE (cont.)

Thank you for agreeing to complete this survey. The survey is about how you feel about your life together as a family. We will use what we learn from families to inform policy makers and service providers for children and families.

Your “family” may include many people – mother, father, partners, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.

For this survey, please consider your family as those people

  • Who think of themselves as part of your family (even though they may or may not be related by blood or marriage), and
  • Who support and care for each other on a regular

For this survey, please DO NOT think about relatives (extended family) who are only involved with your family every once in a while. Please think about your family life over the past 12 months.

The items below are things that hundreds of families have said are important for a good family quality of life. We want to know how Satisfied you are with these things in your family. Please check the boxes on the following pages that reflect your level of satisfaction with each item.

  • Checking the first square means you are very
  • Checking the fifth square means you are very

Thank you so much for sharing your opinion with us!

  • How satisfied am I that…
  • 1. My family enjoys spending time together.
  • 2. My family members help the children learn to be independent.
  • 3. My family has the support we need to relieve stress.
  • 4. My family members have friends or others who provide support.
  • 5. My family members help the children with schoolwork and activities.
  • 6. My family members have transportation to get to the places they need to be.
  • 7. My family members talk openly with each other.
  • 8. My family members teach the children how to get along with others.
  • 9. My family members have some time to pursue our own interests.
  • 10. Our family solves problems together.
  • 11. My family members support each other to accomplish goals.
  • 12. My family members show that they love and care for each other.
  • 13. My family has outside help available to us to take care of special needs of all family members.
  • 14. Adults in our family teach the children to make good decisions.
  • 15. My family gets medical care when needed.
  • 16. My family has a way to take care of our expenses.
  • 17. Adults in my family know other people in the children’s lives (friends, teachers, etc.).
  • 18. My family is able to handle life’s ups and down.
  • 19. Adults in my family have time to take care of the individual needs of every child.
  • 20. My family gets dental care when needed.
  • 21. My family feels safe at home, work, school, and in our neighborhood.
  • 22. My family member with a disability has support to accomplish goals at school or at workplace.
  • 23. My family member with a disability has support to accomplish goals at home.
  • 24. My family member with a disability has support to make friends.
  • 25. My family has good relationships with the service providers who provide services and  support to our family member with a disability.

BEACH CENTER FAMILY QUALITY OF LIFE SCALE

The Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale (hereafter referred to as FQOL Scale) assesses families’ perceptions of their satisfaction with different aspects of family quality of life.  The focus of our original development of the FQOL Scale was on families of children with disabilities ages birth through 21.  We are currently studying its application to families of children without disabilities and families of adults with disabilities.

General Description

The FQOL Scale contains five subscales: Family Interaction, Parenting, Emotional Well-being, Physical / Material Well-being, and Disability-Related Support. This scale is designed to be used as a research tool. Some examples of potential uses of the scale include:

  • As a pre- and post-test to measure the effectiveness of an intervention
  • As an outcome measure for programs or services
  • As a measure of a dependent or independent variable

The FQOL Scale is not to be used to determine or deny eligibility for services nor is it a clinical measure for diagnostic purposes.

How It Was Developed

The initial framework for scale development resulted from extensive literature reviews, focus groups, and individual interviews with family members of children with disabilities, individuals with disabilities, service providers, and administrators of service agencies. These representatives were asked to describe things that were “important for families to have a good life together.”

The research team then analyzed the transcripts to put together all comments in similar groups or categories.  These, in turn, were grouped in ten domains of family quality of life: Family Interaction, Parenting, Daily Life, Financial Well-Being, Emotional Well-Being, Social Well-Being, Health, Physical Environment, Advocacy, and Productivity.  (see a detailed description of this stage of development in Poston, Turnbull, Park, Mannan, Marquis, & Wang, 2003).

Next, we developed a pilot version of the FQOL Scale containing 112 items, which was administered to a sample of 1197 individuals from 459 families.  An exploratory factor analysis produced a 5-factor solution:  Family Interaction, Parenting, General Resources, Health and Safety, and Support for Persons with Disabilities (see details in Park et al., 2003).

Further validation of the factor structure of the FQOL Scale occurred in two rounds of study involving a total of 488 families. The final FQOL Scale was refined through confirmatory factor analyses into 25 items that assess 5 domains: Family Interaction, Parenting, Emotional Well-being, Physical/Material Well-being, and Disability-Related Support.

Psychometric Properties

For a detailed description of the psychometric evaluation of the FQOL Scale, see Hoffman, Marquis, Poston, Summers, and Turnbull, 2006.  Here is a brief summary of the findings reported in that article: 

 

Reliability:

  • Cronbach’s alpha for the FQOL subscales on Importance ratings was .94 and on Satisfaction ratings was .88.
  • Test-retest reliability was examined in both importance and satisfaction responses for each of the FQOL subscales. All correlations were significant at the .01 level or beyond (df from 59 to 63).
  • For importance, the correlations between time points were .54 for Family Interaction, .66 for Parenting, .70 for Emotional Well-being, .42 for Physical / Material Well-being, and .77 for Disability-Related Support.
  • For satisfaction, the correlations between time points were .75 for Family Interaction, .71 for Parenting, .76 for Emotional Well-being, .77 for Physical / Material Well-being, and .60 for Disability-Related Support.

Validity:

  • Both item-level overall FQOL structure (a second-order factor of FQOL, measured by 5 factors, which were in turn measured by their items as observed variables) and subscale-level FQOL structure (a first-order factor of FQOL, measured by the 5 subscale item means as observed variables) were examined.
  • The item-level overall FQOL importance model had acceptable fit, χ² (270) = 617.28, p < .001, CFI = .87, RMSEA = .07.
  • The subscale-level FQOL model had excellent fit, χ²(5) = 3.41, p=.63, CFI = 1.00, RMSEA = .00.
  • The convergent validity was tested between the FQOL subscales and relevant existing measures. The Family APGAR (Smilkstein, Ashworth, & Montano, 1982), a 5-item measure of family functioning, was significantly correlated with the satisfaction mean for the Family Interaction FQOL subscale, r (87) = .68, p < .001.
  • The Family Resource Scale (Dunst & Leet, 1987), a 30-item measure of family resources, was significantly correlated with the 5 items on the Physical/Material Well-Being domain, r = .60, p < .001, n = 60.

 
Family Quality of Life Scale - Scoring & Items

The FQOL Scale uses satisfaction as the primary response format.  The anchors of the items rated on satisfaction are rated on a 5-point scale, where 1 = very dissatisfied, 3 = neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 5 = very satisfied.

Items

There are 25 items in the final FQOL scale.  Below are the items keyed to each of the first sub-scales domains:

Family Interaction:

  • My family enjoys spending time together.
  • My family members talk openly with each other.
  • My family solves problems together.
  • My family members support each other to accomplish goals.
  • My family members show that they love and care for each other.
  • My family is able to handle life's ups and downs.

Parenting:

  • Family members help the children learn to be independent.
  • Family members help the children with schoolwork and activities.
  • Family members teach the children how to get along with others.
  • Adults in my family teach the children to make good decisions.
  • Adults in my family know other people in the children's lives (i.e. friends, teachers).
  • Adults in my family have time to take care of the individual needs of every child.

Emotional Well-being:

  • My family has the support we need to relieve stress.
  • My family members have friends or others who provide support.
  • My family members have some time to pursue their own interests.
  • My family has outside help available to us to take care of special needs of all family members.

Physical / Material Well-being:

  • My family members have transportation to get to the places they need to be.
  • My family gets dental care when needed.
  • My family gets medical care when needed.
  • My family has a way to take care of our expenses.
  • My family feels safe at home, work, school, and in our neighborhood.

Disability-Related Support

  • My family member with special needs has support to make progress at school or workplace.
  • My family member with special needs has support to make progress at home.
  • My family member with special needs has support to make friends.
  • My family has a good relationship with the service providers who work with our family member with a disability.

The FQOL Scale is available free of charge.  To order, email [email protected].

Cited References

Poston, D., Turnbull, A., Park, J., Mannan, H., Marquis, J., & Wang, M. (2003).  Family quality of life outcomes:  A qualitative inquiry launching a long-term research program.  Mental Retardation, 41(5), 313-328.

Park, J., Hoffman, L., Marquis, J., Turnbull, A.P., Poston, D., Mannan, H., Wang, M., & Nelson, L. (2003).  Toward assessing family outcomes of service delivery:  Validation of a family quality of life survey.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 47(4/5), 367-384.

Hoffman, L., Marquis, J.G., Poston, D.J., Summers, J.A., & Turnbull, A. (2006). Assessing family outcomes:  Psychometric evaluation of the family quality of life scale.  Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 1069-1083.

Additional References

Summers, J.A., Marquis, J., Mannan, H., Turnbull, A.P., Fleming, K., Poston, D.J., Wang, M., & Kupzck, K. (submitted).  Relationship of perceived adequacy of services, family-professional partnerships, and family quality of life in early childhood service programs.  International Journal of Development, Disability, and Education.

Summers, J.A., Poston, D.J., Turnbull, A.P., Marquis, J., Hoffman, L., Mannan, H., & Wang, H. (2005).  Conceptualizing and measuring family quality of life.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49(10), 777-783.

Turnbull, A.P. (2004).  President’s address 2004: “Wearing two hats”: Morphed perspectives on family quality of life.  Mental Retardation, 42(5), 383-399.

Wang, M., Mannan, H., Poston, J., Turnbull, A.P., & Summers, J.A. (2004).  Parents’ perceptions of advocacy activities and their impact on family quality of life.  Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(2), 144-155.