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Measuring Positive Memories of Home and Family During Childhood: The Development and Initial Validation of the ‘Memories of Home and Family Scale’

Shevlin, Mark; Redican, Enya; McElroy, Eoin; Ben-Ezra, Menachem; Karatzias, Thanos; Hyland, Philip


Mark Shevlin

Enya Redican

Eoin McElroy

Menachem Ben-Ezra

Philip Hyland


Purpose: There are multiple studies illustrating how benevolent childhood experiences (BCEs) are associated with more favorable health outcomes across the life-course, even in the context of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Despite this, few measures are available to assess BCEs. Existing measures include a narrow spectrum of objective BCEs and are limited by the use of binary response categories while few investigate BCEs specifically related to the family and home environment. Thus, the current study sought to develop and validate a measure which assesses positive recollections of experiences and emotions at home and with family during childhood called the ‘Memories of Home and Family Scale’(MHFS).

Methods: Items were generated which captured a diverse range of positive emotions and experiences related to home and family life during childhood. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was employed to test the latent structure of the preliminary MHFS item scores in a sample of university students from the United Kingdom (N=624). Following selection of the best-fitting model and final items for inclusion in the scale, total and subscale scores were correlated with a range of mental health outcomes.

Results: The results from the CFA indicated that the latent structure of the MHFS items was best represented by a correlated six-factor first-order model. The final MHFS demonstrated high levels of internal reliability and convergent validity.

Conclusion: The MHFS is a 28-item multidimensional measure which assesses positive memories of home and family during childhood across six dimensions including valued, independence, support, security, wellness, growth and meaning.


Shevlin, M., Redican, E., McElroy, E., Ben-Ezra, M., Karatzias, T., & Hyland, P. (in press). Measuring Positive Memories of Home and Family During Childhood: The Development and Initial Validation of the ‘Memories of Home and Family Scale’. Current Psychology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 11, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 17, 2022
Deposit Date May 12, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2022
Print ISSN 1046-1310
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Benevolent childhood experiences; Adverse childhood experiences; Resilience
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