A Test of Adaptability: Examining the Curvilinear Assumption

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Ss recruited from clinical and nonclinical populations were asked to answer a questionnaire composed of the following parts: (a) the regular Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales III (FACES III), (b) reworded Adaptability scale items of the FACES III, (c) the Adaptability scale items of the FACES III rewritten in a bipolar 7-point scale, and (d) the General Functioning scale of the McMaster Family Assessment Device. The results suggest that from a layperson's perspective, the FACES III Adaptability items reflect an underlying linear model. When the Adaptability items were reworded to make the intent of curvilinearity less ambiguous, Ss who came from more dysfunctional families answered in more extreme categories, whereas Ss who came from more functional families answered in a more balanced way.

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