Development and validation of the supervisory relationship measure: A self-report questionnaire for use with supervisors

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To develop a valid and reliable measure of the supervisory relationship (SR) from the perspective of the supervisor.


A cross-sectional self-report questionnaire design was used with a repeated component for a subsample.


Qualitative data from a previous study of the SR (collected by interviews with supervisors) were used to construct an 89-item self-report questionnaire measure (Supervisory Relationship Measure [SRM]). This was administered to 267 clinical psychology supervisors involved in supervising UK trainee clinical psychologists. One hundred and thirty-four participants completed the measure a second time to establish its test–retest reliability.


Principal components analysis was used. Five factors were identified and labelled ‘safe base’, ‘supervisor commitment’, ‘trainee contribution’, ‘external influences’, and ‘supervisor investment’. Fifty-one items (comprising five subscales based on the factors identified) were selected for the final measure. Analyses revealed the SRM to have good internal consistency, good test–retest reliability, and good construct (convergent and divergent) validity. A preliminary test of predictive (statistical) validity (supervisor satisfaction with the relationship and trainee competence as perceived by the supervisor) yielded promising results.


The SRM is a valid and reliable measure of the SR from the supervisor perspective. It predicts supervisor satisfaction and preliminary evidence suggests that it may also predict trainee competence (as perceived by the supervisor). The findings are consistent with current theory on the SR. The SRM is, therefore, a promising tool for use in research, clinical, and training settings.

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