A measure of perceived family stigma: Validity in a military sample

Anne Q. Zhou, Julia M. Whealin, Chun Wang, Rich Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of the newly developed Perceived Family Stigma Scale (PFSS) in a diverse sample of 623 military veterans. The PFSS is a 4-item scale that has acceptable internal consistency (r = .86) and strong interitem correlations (r = .51 to .76). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) indicated the single factor model was a good fit statistically (X2[df = 2, N = 620] = .34, p = .84) and descriptively (CFI = 1.00, RMSEA < .001). Multigroup CFA was performed to test the measurement invariance of the PFSS across demographic indicators. The PFSS achieved full scalar invariance across deployment history, education level, urban/rural location, marital status, and military rank, and partial scalar invariance across gender, ethnicity/race, and income level. Results of a logistic regression analysis indicated significant relationships of mean PFSS scores and gender with likelihood of needing help for an emotional problem, above and beyond a measure of selfand public stigma. Specifically, each point increase in mean PFSS scores predicted an almost 4 times higher probability of reporting a need for help, and men were also 6 times more likely than women to report a need for help. However, there was a significant relationship between the PFSS and gender such that, for women, each 1 point increase in mean PFSS scores predicted a likelihood of reporting a need/desire for help for an emotional problem 3 times that of men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1181
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological assessment
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Psychological Association.


  • Family stigma
  • Help seeking
  • Measurement invariance
  • Military veterans
  • Scale development


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