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Indian J Med Res. 2005 Oct;122(4):309-14.

Development & standardization of a scale to measure socio-economic status in urban & rural communities in India.

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  • 1Department of Geriatric Mental Health, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India. sarvada1953@hotmail.com



The commonly used available scales for measurement of socio-economic status (SES) with some cross regional applicability are old and have lost their relevance. There is a need for the development of a valid and reliable instrument for measurement of SES in rural and urban communities in India. The present study was undertaken to develop a cross regionally applicable scale for the purpose of enlisting true measures of socio-economic items applicable in multilingual, multicultural, multireligious, setting of the country.


For developing the scale, seven indicators (house, materials possession, education, occupation, monthly income, land, social participation and understanding), presumably determining the socioeconomic status were selected. These indicators were named as profiles. Thus, initially the scale had seven profiles and every profile contained five alternatives. This instrument was prepared on a 10-point scale. Weightage system of scoring (varying from 2 to 10) was followed from first to sixth profile while the additive pattern of scoring was followed in seventh profile. The final version of the scale was arrived at through three trial administrations on rural and urban families. The basis of selection of the families for the first two trials was stratified random. The validity and reliability of the scale was established through a defined visual analogue scale (VAS) and test-retest methods.


Both the initial version as well as the final version of the scale for the measurement of SES of incumbents had seven profiles. The difference between the two versions was in terms of contents and range of items in different categories of SES. The final version was arrived at through field trials and suggestions of the experts. The reliability of the scale was high with a correlation coefficient of 0.998.


The new scale appears to be a valid and reliable instrument for the assessment of socio-economic status of the families/individuals from urban as well as rural areas in India.

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