Society for Social Work and Research

Sixteenth Annual Conference Research That Makes A Difference: Advancing Practice and Shaping Public Policy
11-15 January 2012 I Grand Hyatt Washington I Washington, DC

16991 The Development and Validation of the Sorokin Love Inventory

Thursday, January 12, 2012: 2:30 PM
McPherson Square (Grand Hyatt Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Joseph, G. D'Ambrosio, MSSW, Doctoral Student, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Anna C. Faul, PhD, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Background:Divorce is fraught with anger causing many to act incongruent to their intrinsic loving character. Reducing anger increases love but love is difficult to operationalize. This study created the Sorokin Love Inventory (SLI) using a theory (Sorokin, 1954) that operationalized an analytical love model that can be adapted by individuals who want to act in loving ways in spite of conflictual situations. This theory has five constructs, namely, intensity of love which is the giving of something of value to another without regard of any loss to self; extensity of love which is the act of giving love to all human beings, without regard for who they are and how different their actions are from ours; duration which is the act of giving love from the shortest possible moment to a life time; purity which is the act of giving love with no concern of receiving it back; adequacy of giving love where the subjective goal of the giver and objective consequences for the receiver are aligned.

Methods:A content analysis was performed and a list of behaviors/attitudes was developed capturing construct meaning. Each behavior/attitude attribute was tested against the core definition of each construct and evaluated by content experts to determine the essence of each construct. Five items per construct were selected to create a rapid assessment instrument. SLI was pilot tested using a sample of 131 divorcing individuals recruited at the Families in Transition (FIT) training. FIT is a court mandated program for families with children under 18 who are going through divorce. The pilot showed factor loading failures that warranted new items or revisions to increase reliability and validity.A new sample of 264 divorcing individuals was recruited at FIT and the SLI together with scales to evaluate concurrent and discriminant construct validity, namely, Davis's Empathy Scale (Davies, 2001), Love Attitude Scale (Butler, Robbin, et. al., 1995), Altruistic Values scale (Webb, 2000), Altruistic Behavior Battery (Amato, 1990) and Feelings of Anger Towards Former Spouse (Faul, 1995) were completed. The sample was mainly female (55%), White (85%), mean age 36.24 (SD=7.5), mean education years14.69 (SD=2.90), middle SES (74%), and first time divorce (81%).

Results:Reliability and content validity analysis indicated reliable and valid subscales for all constructs, after discarding 6 items for an overall total of 19 items. Alpha coefficients and the mean of corrected item-total correlations were as follows: intensity (α=0.80; r=0.58); extensity (α=0.76; r=0.56); duration (α=0.83; r=0.62); purity (α=0.80; r=0.62); adequacy (α=0.85; r=0.73). Factorial validity showed the ability of the five factors to account for 58.55% percent of the variance in the overall love construct, with no factor loading failings for the different subscales. Discriminant and concurrent construct validity showed excellent results.

Implications: Results demonstrated the ability of the SLI to be a reliable and valid instrument that can be used to assess the ability of divorcing individuals to show love towards their former spouses and used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at developing love actions between individuals going through a divorce.

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