Methodology Resources-Couple

The Center for Family Research studies the reciprocal impact of children, their caregivers, and the broader community context on health and psychological adjustment among African American families living in the rural South. In recent years, we have examined how risk factors such as racial discrimination and poverty affect health outcomes for this population by studying the effects of stress on biological aging, behavioral factors, and substance abuse. This page provides researchers with some of the tools and methodologies used by CFR and as well as some methodology presentations and handouts created over the years.

Methods and Measures

For more than two decades, scientists at the Center for Family Research have sought to employ measures that are psychometrically-robust, developmentally-appropriate, and contextually-sensitive. This page includes information about measures and methodologies developed for CFR-sponsored research studies with a focus on rural, African American populations. The development of these measures included use of focus groups representative of the population being studied. This group provided item-by-item input on the appropriateness of the items as well as other suggestions for procedures.

These two publications provide details about the process of developing and testing the measures:

Five items assess partners’ perceptions of their ability to confide in and receive support from one another. The response set ranges from 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always).

How often each item happens in your relationship?

  1. I feel intimate with my partner.
  2. My partner is someone I can confide in.
  3. I feel I can share my most private worries and fears with my partner.
  4. I can tell my partner about both good things and bad things that happen to me.
  5. I can talk to my partner about more things now than I could when we were first dating.

Studies employing this measure

Barton, A. W., Beach, S. R., Wells, A. C., Ingels, J. B., Corso, P. S., Sperr, M. C., … & Brody, G. H. (2018). The Protecting Strong African American Families program: A randomized controlled trial with rural African American couples. Prevention Science, 19(7), 904-913.