The development of the 2-Way Social Support Scale: a measure of giving and receiving emotional and instrumental support

J Pers Assess. Sep-Oct 2011;93(5):483-90. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2011.594124.


A number of studies support the refinement of various types of social support into 2 primary dimensions: emotional support and instrumental support. There is increasing recognition of benefits aligned with giving as well as receiving social support, yet there has been no single measure published that incorporates all of these elements. This study presents the development of the 2-Way Social Support Scale (2-Way SSS) using community samples (n = 372; n = 417) and provides evidence for the scales' factor structure, reliability, and validity. The 2-Way SSS concurrently appraises 4 principal dimensions: (a) giving emotional support, (b) giving instrumental support, (c) receiving emotional support, and (d) receiving instrumental support. The completeness of the scale, combined with the generic quality of the items, enhances its utility across a diversity of contexts. Importantly, this scale provides a measurement tool that will enable the comparison of social support research outcomes across studies and populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires