Beach Center on Disability


Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale

General Description

The FQOL Scale contains five subscales: Family Interaction, Parenting, Emotional Well-being, Physical / Material Well-being, and Disability-Related Support. This scale is designed to be used as a research tool. Some examples of potential uses of the scale include:

  • As a pre- and post-test to measure the effectiveness of an intervention
  • As an outcome measure for programs or services
  • As a measure of a dependent or independent variable

The FQOL Scale is not to be used to determine or deny eligibility for services nor is it a clinical measure for diagnostic purposes.

How It Was Developed

The initial framework for scale development resulted from extensive literature reviews, focus groups, and individual interviews with family members of children with disabilities, individuals with disabilities, service providers, and administrators of service agencies. These representatives were asked to describe things that were “important for families to have a good life together.”

The research team then analyzed the transcripts to put together all comments in similar groups or categories.  These, in turn, were grouped in ten domains of family quality of life: Family Interaction, Parenting, Daily Life, Financial Well-Being, Emotional Well-Being, Social Well-Being, Health, Physical Environment, Advocacy, and Productivity.  (see a detailed description of this stage of development in Poston, Turnbull, Park, Mannan, Marquis, & Wang, 2003).

Next, we developed a pilot version of the FQOL Scale containing 112 items, which was administered to a sample of 1197 individuals from 459 families.  An exploratory factor analysis produced a 5-factor solution:  Family Interaction, Parenting, General Resources, Health and Safety, and Support for Persons with Disabilities (see details in Park et al., 2003).

Further validation of the factor structure of the FQOL Scale occurred in two rounds of study involving a total of 488 families. The final FQOL Scale was refined through confirmatory factor analyses into 25 items that assess 5 domains: Family Interaction, Parenting, Emotional Well-being, Physical/Material Well-being, and Disability-Related Support.    

For Further Information: 

  • Scoring Key and Psychometrics:  For a handout providing a summary of the psychometric properties, a scoring key with a list of items that belong to each of the factors in the FQOL, and references to studies using the FQOL, please click and download: Psychometric Characteristics and Scoring Key.

The Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale is available free of charge.  Permission is granted for use in any educational or research purpose, provided appropriate reference is given in any reports or publications reporting results of studies using the Scale.  Recommended citations are located on the cover sheet of the Scale available for download, as above. 

Please email any questions to: