Single Item Measure of Social Supports: Evaluation of construct validity during pregnancy

Valerie Slavin, Debra K. Creedy, Jenny Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Lack of social support during pregnancy is associated with psychosocial vulnerability. The Single Item Measure of Social Supports (SIMSS) is included in a core outcome set to facilitate case-adjustment based on social support. Validity of the SIMSS has not been evaluated in childbearing women. We aimed to evaluate the construct validity of the SIMSS during pregnancy. Secondary aim was to evaluate an alternative short-measure of social support. METHODS: Recruited women (n = 309) attending antenatal care were invited to complete the SIMSS, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), Antenatal Risk Questionnaire (ANRQ), and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Convergent validity of SIMSS with MSPSS and hypothesis testing for psychosocial risk and depressive symptoms were conducted. RESULTS: Correlations were moderate between the SIMSS and MSPSS (rs = .35), but weak between the SIMSS and EPDS (rs = -.18); and SIMSS and ANRQ (rs = -.22). In contrast, correlations were moderate between the MSPSS and EPDS (rs = -.39) and ANRQ (rs = -.45). A shortened 3-item version of the MSPSS showed good psychometric properties and internal consistency reliability (a = .86). LIMITATIONS: Findings relate to one Australian birthing sample during pregnancy. Replication of this study in larger, diverse maternity populations, including postpartum is recommended. CONCLUSIONS: The SIMSS is a poor measure of social support during pregnancy with poor predictive ability to detect maternal vulnerability including depression and psychosocial risk. A revised 3-item version of the MSPSS was found to be a valid and reliable measure of social support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Early online date29 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The MoMeNT study was supported by a grant awarded by the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service Research Grants Committee (Ref: 015–01.02.17). The funding body played no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, or interpretation of findings.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Core outcome set
  • Patient reported outcome measure (PROM)
  • Pregnancy
  • Single Item Measure of Social Supports (SIMSS)
  • Validation study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Single Item Measure of Social Supports: Evaluation of construct validity during pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this