Development and validation of an abridged version of the Social Provisions Scale (SPS-10) in Italian

E. Iapichino (1), P. Rucci (2), I.E. Corbani (3), G. Apter (4), M. Quartieri Bollani (1), G. Cauli (1), C. Gala (1), M. Bassi (3)

1 San Paolo Hospital Trust, Division of Psychiatry, Milan, Italy; 2 Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Italy; 3 Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital, Division of Psychiatry, Milan, Italy; 4 University Paris Diderot Perinatal Psychopathology Research Lab EPS Erasme 14, Antony, France

The Social Provisions Scale-10 item (SPS-10) is a shortened version of the 24-item Social Provisions Scale developed by Cutrona and Russell in 1987. The SPS-24 originally consisted of six subscales that measure the availability of social support: emotional support or attachment, social integration, reassurance of worth, material help, orientation and opportunity for nurturance. Each subscale comprises four items, two formulated positively and two negatively, for a total of 24 items. The SPS-10 retains the original subscales, except for opportunity for nurturance, and includes only negatively worded items. The aim of this paper is to present the validation of the Italian version of this instrument. The study population consisted of 483 pregnant Italian women with a mean age of 33 years recruited from two large hospitals of northwestern Italy from January 2010 to February 2012 during scheduled routine follow-up visits or when they attended the antenatal classes.

The SPS-10 showed a strong concurrent validity with the original SPS-24 scale (r = 0.896). All its items were highly correlated with the total score and its internal consistency was high (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.809).

The construct validity was investigated using a two-level confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). This analysis confirmed that the items conform to a structure consisting of 5 first-level dimensions (subscales) and one second-level dimension that measures the overall perception of social support. The CFA model had excellent goodness of fit to the data. 

The total score of SPS-10 was significantly associated with the presence of antenatal depressive symptoms (ADS) in a logistic regression model, and this association was stronger than that found between the total SPS-24 and ADS. Overall, these analyses suggest that the SPS-10 is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring the availability of social support with the advantage of shorter administration time compared with the original SPS-24 scale. It is therefore ideal for administration in busy clinical settings for screening purposes and in epidemiological studies. 

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