Carnegie Mellon University

Marital Perceived Social Support


Marital Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL)



Copyright Information

Copyright is owned by Dr. Cohen

Primary Reference

Cohen, S., Mermelstein, R., Kamarck, T., & Hoberman, H. (1985). Measuring the functional components of social support. In I.G. Sarason & B. Sarason (Eds.), Social support: Theory, research and applications (pp.73-94). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.


To assess the perceived availability of appraisal social support from the participant’s spouse.

Type of Measure

This is a modification of the original ISEL developed for this study.  The original scale consists of 40 items (ten items in each of the four sub-scales, measuring separate aspects of social support). The modified version includes only the subscale representing appraisal support.  Also, while the original scale considers support available from the participant’s entire social network, this measure evaluates only the perceived availability of support from the participant’s spouse.


Participants indicate the extent to which sentences describing availability of appraisal social support in their lives are true or false. No time frame or referent period is used.


0 = Definitely False, 1 = Probably False, 2 = Probably True, 3= Definitely True

Number of Items


Sample Items

  • I trust my spouse to help solve my problems.
  • If a family crisis arose, my spouse could not give me good advice about how to handle it. (reversed)


Reliability in PMBC: alpha=0.86


Reversed Items: 2,4,9
Marital Appraisal Support Total Score: Sum items: 1, 2R, 3, 4R, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9R