Carnegie Mellon University

Family Environment


Family Environment Scale (FES5)



Copyright Information

Copyrighted. Available for purchase through Mind Garden, Inc.

Primary References

Moos, R. H., & Moos, B. S. (1994). Family environment scale manual. Consulting Psychologists Press.

Moos, R. H. (1990). Conceptual and empirical approaches to developing family-based assessment procedures: Resolving the case of the Family Environment Scale.  Family Process, 29, 199-208.


To assess interpersonal and functional components of participants' family environments during childhood and adolescence.


Using a 5-point Likert scale, participants indicate the extent to which they agree with statements describing their family dynamic during childhood.  Participants are asked to respond in reference to “When I was growing up.”


1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree

Number of Items



See Moos (1990) for data on the construct validity, internal reliability and temporal stability of the FES.


Two scales comprise the FES:  family relationships and family system maintenance.  A total score is computed for each scale by summing their component items, and subscores are computed by summing the component items for each of their component subscales. Items for this scale appear in the dataset as fes1 - fes25. See below for which items make up each individual subscale. Note that [R] indicates that the item was reversed scored prior to summing.

Total Family Relationships (15 items)

  • Cohesion (5 items): fes1, fes7, fes16[R], fes19, fes22
  • Expressiveness (5 items): fes6[R], fes8, fes14[R], fes17, fes23
  • Conflict (5 items): fes2, fes3[R], fes9[R], fes12, fes20

Total Family System Maintenance Score (10 items)

  • Organization (5 items): fes4, fes10, fes15, fes18, fes24
  • Control Score (5 items): fes5[R], fes11, fes13, fes21, fes25

Additional details regarding this measure can be obtained by consulting Moos & Moos (1994).

Additional References

Bloom, B. L. (1985). A factor analysis of self-report measures of family functioning. Family Process, 24, 225-239.