Social Support Scale

Discover how to leverage Social Support Scales effectively in healthcare & research settings. Also learn why Carepatron is your optimal choice for these scales.

By Telita Montales on Jul 05, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Social Support Scale?

A Social Support Scale is a scientifically developed tool designed to measure the degree of social support an individual perceives they have in their life. The scale explores various facets of support, including emotional, informational, or tangible assistance derived from diverse relationships like family, friends, or partners.

For instance, the widely recognized Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) assesses an individual's subjective sense of social support and connectivity. The results drawn from these scales can play a vital role in understanding a person's well-being and mental health status; hence, they're increasingly incorporated into found in electronic health records.

In a clinical context, these scales are often used alongside other assessment tools to create holistic patient profiles, offering a more nuanced view of a patient's social environment and its potential impacts on their health.

A typical Social Support Scale comprises various statements to which the respondent reacts, providing deep insights into their social support network's quality, intensity, and perceived availability.

By utilizing a Social Support Scale, healthcare providers can better understand the complexities of a person's social circumstances, thus enabling them to provide more tailored and effective care.

If you're looking for other useful resources, feel free to watch this video:

How does it work?

The Social Support Scale is a self-reported tool used to assess the perceived social support an individual believes they have. The process of using the scale involves several straightforward steps:

Step 1: Selection of the Scale

The initial step involves choosing a suitable Social Support Scale. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) is a commonly used choice, although other options may be selected based on specific contexts or requirements.

Step 2: Familiarization with the Statements

Each Social Support Scale consists of various statements related to perceived social support. For example, the MSPSS includes phrases like "My family tries to help me." Familiarization with these statements is crucial for accurate responses.

Step 3: Responding to the Statements

Participants are asked to respond to each statement using a Likert scale ranging from 'very strongly disagree' to 'very strongly agree'. This method allows individuals to express their level of agreement or disagreement with each statement.

Step 4: Scoring the Responses

Once all responses are gathered, they are scored according to the scale's guidelines. Generally, higher scores denote a higher level of perceived social support, which may correlate with greater resilience and better mental health outcomes.

For ease of use and accessibility, we have printable Social Support Scales, providing a convenient method for individuals and clinicians to assess perceived social support levels. These printable Social Support Scales can be used in various settings, such as healthcare facilities, counseling services, and personal self-assessment.

Understanding the workings of the Social Support Scale allows for a better interpretation of results and the ability to make more informed decisions regarding a person's support needs. This, in turn, can lead to more effective intervention strategies and improved overall health outcomes.

Social Support Scales Example (sample)

An exemplary statement from the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) could read as follows: "I can count on my friends when things go wrong". In response to this statement, the participant would specify their level of agreement on a Likert scale, from 'very strongly disagree' to 'very strongly agree'. This response then contributes to their cumulative perceived social support score, offering insights into their perceived support from friends.

This is merely one statement out of several that a participant would respond to on the MSPSS. The variety of statements and the participant's corresponding responses can provide a comprehensive overview of the perceived support from various domains, such as friends, family, or a significant other.

To gain a more detailed understanding of the MSPSS and other Social Support Scales, a complete Social Support Scales PDF can be accessed online at Carepatron, offering a comprehensive view of the various statements and how to interpret responses effectively. 

Utilizing these resources, individuals and healthcare professionals can more accurately assess the depth and quality of social support in an individual's life.

Download this Social Support Scale Example:

Social Support Scales Example (sample)

When would you use this Template?

Social Support Scales, including the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), find frequent use in various professional settings, particularly those focusing on mental health and well-being. Mental health practitioners, social workers, and researchers keen on studying the significance of social relationships in influencing health outcomes employ these scales.

The tool's utility in assessing an individual's mental health arises from the often substantial correlation between social support and psychological well-being. A substantial and positive social network can buffer against psychological stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Therefore, gauging the quality of this network is often pivotal in forming an accurate assessment of an individual's mental health status.

Routine mental health check-ups often incorporate Social Support Scales to monitor a patient's perceived social support over time. Similarly, initial assessments might utilize the scales to form part of the foundational understanding of a patient's psychosocial profile.

Furthermore, the scales are valuable during comprehensive psychosocial evaluations. In these instances, the scales provide data on the individual's perceived social support, enriching the overall context of their psychological assessment. This data assists clinicians in developing a more holistic understanding of their patient's lives and tailoring their therapeutic approaches accordingly.

Ultimately, the versatility of the Social Support Scale makes it an indispensable tool for anyone seeking to comprehend the depth and breadth of an individual's social support network, thus enhancing the effectiveness of their intervention strategies.


Here are some benefits of using our Free Social Support Scale:

Comprehensive Assessment

The Free Social Support Scales provide a comprehensive look at the various sources of support in an individual's life.

Easy to Use

These Free Social Support Scales are typically easy to administer and interpret, making them user-friendly for professionals and participants.

Clinically Relevant

Our Free Social Support Scales provide relevant information that can inform treatment planning and interventions.

Proven Efficacy

Several studies have demonstrated their reliability and validity.


Free versions of the Social Support Scale are available online, like here at Carepatron.

Research and Evidence

Social Support Scales, especially the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), have firm roots in extensive research and clinical studies. The MSPSS originated in the late 1980s and was a collaboration between psychologists Zimet, Dahlem, and Farley. Their goal was to fill existing gaps in measuring perceived social support, paving the way for a more nuanced understanding of social networks' role in an individual's overall well-being.

The development of the MSPSS was a significant breakthrough in the mental health field, as it provided a reliable tool for quantifying the often qualitative aspects of social support. The scale's success is evident in its extensive validation across various studies and diverse populations, which have collectively underscored its reliability and validity.

In its conception, the MSPSS addressed three core sources of social support: family, friends, and significant others. The scale's multifaceted nature allows for a comprehensive overview of a person's perceived support, contributing to a fuller picture of their psychosocial context.

Recent research continually emphasizes perceived social support's critical role in determining health outcomes. Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between higher levels of perceived social support and better mental and physical health. Conversely, low levels of social support have been associated with higher incidences of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

The continuous stream of empirical evidence endorsing the efficacy of Social Support Scales, like the MSPSS, fortifies their standing as an invaluable tool in mental health research and clinical practice. These scales continue to play an instrumental role in shaping our understanding of the interplay between social relationships and health.

Why use Carepatron as your Social Support Scale app?

As a healthcare professional or researcher, your Social Support Scale app choice can significantly impact your work efficiency. Carepatron, as intuitive Social Support Scale software, enhances this experience, promising ease of use, efficiency, and security in one comprehensive package.

With its user-centric design, Carepatron allows for a smooth transition into its system without necessitating complex training or steep learning curves. It's structured to ensure you can spend more time focusing on the essential aspects of your work—understanding and supporting your clients—rather than grappling with intricate software operations.

Our application doesn't just offer Social Support Scales but a suite of tools for a comprehensive patient assessment. With Carepatron, you can administer scales and securely store results. This integration allows for the efficient use of scales alongside other essential tools, such as electronic health records. The result is a holistic, well-rounded view of patient wellbeing.

Security is paramount in any health-related work, and Carepatron meets this expectation head-on. The platform complies with stringent global security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST. Your work remains confidential, secure, and well-protected.

Carepatron's unique selling point lies in its emphasis on collaboration. Whether it's sharing across your team, professional network, or with clients, the application ensures seamless collaboration, replicating the ease of everyone being in the same room.

Carepatron has established itself as a dependable and effective platform, earning the trust of a global user community. Choosing Carepatron as your Social Support Scale app ensures a streamlined, secure, and collaborative experience, letting you focus on delivering top-quality care to your clients. 

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Who uses the Social Support Scale?
Who uses the Social Support Scale?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses the Social Support Scale?

The Social Support Scale is used by mental health professionals, social workers, researchers, and anyone interested in understanding the perceived social support of an individual.

When do you use the Social Support Scale?

You use the Social Support Scale to measure the level of social support an individual perceives they have in their life. This can be a part of a mental health assessment or a broader psychosocial evaluation.

How is the Social Support Scale used?

The Social Support Scale is a self-reported measure where individuals respond to statements regarding their perceived social support. The responses are then scored to measure the person's perceived social support.

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