Aim: About 30% of patients who enter psychotherapies are deteriorated. Statistical methods have been developed that allow for the identification of “at-risk” cases. Clinical support tools can be offered as a problem solving strategy to maximize treatment response and minimize deterioration.

One support tool, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) has been characterized as easy to use and effective with adequate psychometric properties. However, very few studies have explored its concurrent validity. The goal of this proposal is to assess the psychometric properties of the MSPSS to validate it for clinical use.

Methods: Two groups (a nonclinical group and a clinical group) will be compared on several measures of perceived social support and a measure of psychological distress to test the MSPSS and its ability to converge on established measure of perceived social support, to the predictive validity of the MSPSS, and run a factor analysis.

Results: Analysis suggests sufficient convergent validity of the MSPSS with other established measures of perceived social support and adequate predictive validity showing a moderate relationship between deteriorating patient's psychological distress and their level of social support. The factors analysis was successful in sustaining the factors of the MSPSS.

Discussion: In most cases, patients predicted to have a poor treatment outcome do not have adequate social support networks to initiate or maintain gains acquired in therapy. The patients' social support partially determines the amount of treatment necessary for positive outcomes. The adequacy of perceived social support directly relates to a patient's reported severity of symptoms and can mediate stressful life events and the development of psychological symptoms.

LLU Discipline

Experimental Psychology




Graduate Studies

First Advisor

David A. Vermeersch

Second Advisor

Kendal C. Boyd

Third Advisor

Matt Riggs

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Psychotherapy; Social Support; Mental Health; Stress, Psychological; Self Concept.



Page Count

x; 54

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


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Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives