Developing a Measure of the Impact of COVID-19 Social Distancing on Household Conflict and Cohesion

Victoria Behar-Zusman, Jennifer V. Chavez, Karina Gattamorta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This report introduces the COVID-19 Family Environment Scale (CHES), which aims to measure the impact of social distancing due to COVID-19 on household conflict and cohesion. Existing measures do not capture household experiences relevant to the pandemic, in which families are largely confined to their homes while sharing a life-threatening situation. Using best practice guidelines, we developed a pool of items and revised them with review by a panel of experts, and cognitive interviewing with community respondents. We administered the CHES by online survey to 3,965 adults. The CHES consists of 15 items for each of two subscales, household conflict (α =.847) and household cohesion (α =.887). Exploratory factor analysis yielded two factors, corresponding to the intended conflict and cohesion items, which accounted for 29% of variance. Confirmatory factor analysis partially supported the 2-factor model (RMSEA =.057; CFI =.729, TLI =.708, and SRMR =.098). The CHES also contains 25 optional items to describe respondent and household characteristics, and household-level COVID-19 exposure. The CHES, publicly available at, provides a tool for measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on important determinants of resilience in the face of major stressful events. Further work is needed to address the factor structure and establish validity of the CHES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1059
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Family Cohesion
  • Family Conflict
  • Family Environment
  • Family Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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