The Perceived Acceptance Scale: Development and Validation
AbstractThe Perceived Acceptance Scale (PAS), a new instrument designed to assess perceptions of acceptance within specific categories of relationships, is described. Acceptance is defined as relationship-specific and relatively stable cognitive appraisals that others care for and value us and that their concern is not contingent upon our holding particular attitudes or acting differently from how we typically act. We hypothesized that acceptance would predict relationship quality and mediate the association between perceptions of social support and emotional adjustment. Development of the PAS proceeded in two steps: (1) construct definition and initial scale construction; and (2) scale development and assessment of reliability and validity evidence. The PAS provides separate scores that reflect acceptance from one's mother, father, family in general and friends. These scores are internally consistent and exhibit test-retest reliability. Each PAS score showed discriminant and convergent validity in correlational analyses with emotional adjustment, relationship quality and global perceptions of social support. Following the statistical control of the effects of global perceptions of social support and sex, the PAS scores predicted unique variance in self-esteem, loneliness, social competence and optimism.