Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors (ISSB) (Long and Short-Form)

Author of Tool: 

Barrera, M., Sandler, I. M., & Ramsay, T. B.

Key references: 

Barrera, M., Sandler, I. M., & Ramsay, T. B. (1981). Preliminary development of a scale of social support: Studies on college students. American Journal of Community Psychology, 9, 435-446.

Barrera, M., Jr., & Baca, L.M. (1990). Recipient reactions to social support: Contributions of enacted support, conflicted support and network orientation. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 541-551.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The ISSB is a measure of the amount of social support an individual is receiving from others.


The Inventory of Social Supportive Behaviors (ISSB) is a 40-item self-report measure that was designed to assess how often individuals received various forms of assistance during the preceding month. The instrument conceptualises social support as including tangible forms of assistance, such as the provision of goods and services, and intangible forms of assistance, such as guidance and expressions of esteem. Subjects are asked to rate the frequency of each item on 5-point Likert scales (1=not at all, 2=once or twice, 3=about once a week, 4=several times a week, and 5=about every day). A 19-item, short-form, version of the instrument is also available for use.


Information on reliability and factor structure of the ISSB can be found in the background information of the ISSB (attached below).



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