chapter  3
26 Pages

The Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scales: Instrument Summary

ByJanet N. Melby, Rand D. Conger

The Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scales (IFIRS; Melby, R.D.Conger et al., 1998) is a global or macrolevel observational coding system designed to measure behavioral and emotional characteristics of individuals, the nature of behavioral exchanges from one family member to another and between family members, and attributes regarding overall family processes. The IFIRS initially was developed to code behavioral processes in discussion and problem-solving interactions in families with adolescents (see Lorenz & Melby, 1994). However, the system has been used extensively to score interaction in young-adult dyads and was recently adapted for scoring behaviors of parents and young children (2-8 years of age) engaged in activity-based interactions (Melby, R.D.Conger et al., 1998). Although developed using a sample of European-American families, the scales subsequently were used successfully for scoring interactions in Native-American and African-American families.