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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2010 Aug;36(4):845-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2010.01204.x.

Multidimensional scale of perceived social support: psychometric properties in a South Asian population.

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Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.



The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) was developed to assess perceived social support, and has been widely used in Western samples. We attempted to translate and adapt this scale into the Urdu language, and herewith report on its psychometric properties in a rural Pakistani setting.


The study sample consisted of 325 antenatal women who were registered with 'Lady Health Workers' in the Kallar Circle of Rawalpindi district. The subjects were assessed pre- and postnatally with measures of psychiatric distress, and social support and depression, respectively (using a guided structured interview).


MSPSS scores were inversely related to measures of psychiatric distress and depression, thus supporting the construct validity of the MSPSS as a measure of social support. The internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) of MSPSS was 0.92. Unlike previous research using the MSPSS in Western studies, the factor analysis revealed a single-factor solution that accounted for 53% of the variance.


The Urdu translation of the MSPSS was found to have good construct validity, and internal consistency. However, the findings suggest that women in the study population perceived social support as a unitary construct, as opposed to a tri-dimensional one as identified in Western samples.

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