The Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale (SF CDS)


A number of authors identify dysfunctional family and interpersonal dynamics as fostering and maintaining codependency. The authors of the scale note this in their definition of codependency, however they also take into account the contribution of characteristics of person. A number of constructs potentially related to codependency were reviewed in creating the Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale (SF CDS)


The 16 item scale was found to have a test-retest correlation of .87, with internal consistency Cronbach’s alpha was .86. The scale is scored such that high scores reflect greater codependency. For full psychometric description of scale see: Fischer, J. L., Spann L., & Crawford, D. (1991). Measuring codependency. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 8, 87-100.

Author of Tool:

Fischer, J.L., Spann L., & Crawford, D.

Key references:

Fischer, J. L., Spann L., & Crawford, D. (1991). Measuring codependency. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 8, 87-100. 

Primary use / Purpose:

Measures codependancy, defined as “a dysfunctional pattern of relating to others with an extreme focus outside of oneself, lack of expression of feelings, and personal meaning derived from relationships with others.”

The Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale (SF CDS)

Read the following statements and place the number in the spaces provided that best describes you according to the following list:

  • 1 Strongly Disagree;
  • 2 Moderately Disagree;
  • 3 Slightly Disagree;
  • 4 Slightly Agree;
  • 5 Moderately Agree;
  • 6 Strongly Agree.

  1. It is hard for me to make
  2. It is hard for me to say “no.”
  3. It is hard for me to accept compliments
  4. Sometimes I almost feel bored or empty if I don’t have problems to focus
  5. 1 usually do not do things for other people that they are capable of doing for
  6. When I do something nice for myself I usually feel
  7. 1 do not worry very
  8. I tell myself that things will get better when the people in my life change what they are
  9. I seem to have relationships where I am always there for them but they are rarely there for
  10. Sometimes I get focused on one person to the extent of neglecting other relationships and
  11. I seem to get into relationships that are painful for
  12. I don’t usually let others see the “real” me.
  13. When someone upsets me I will hold it in for a long time, but once in a while I
  14. I will usually go to any lengths to avoid open
  15. I often have a sense of dread or impending
  16. I often put the needs of others ahead of my

To obtain a scale score, reverse score items 5 and 7 and sum all the items.