Validity assessment of a social support index

Scand J Soc Med. 1995 Mar;23(1):66-74. doi: 10.1177/140349489502300112.


The purpose of this study was to reevaluate the psychometric properties of the social support sumindex used earlier in a Swedish longitudinal study. The results based on the data of a cross-sectional survey in 1992. A randomly selected cohort consisted of 212 men, aged 50 to 60 years. The population sample (n = 4853) was resident in Kuopio Province, Eastern Finland. The 34-item-index was stable. Item-total and item-item coefficients showed low internal consistency of the overall index and of most of the subindices. The index had good content validity. Limited evidence of construct validity was noticed. Index assessed well person's social network and support level, and association between the blood pressure and some of the subindices was noticed. The eight underlying subindices did not emerge in factor analysis. Before further using this index we propose its shortening with six items and re-grouping items into subindices.

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Finland
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support*
  • Sweden