Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Family Assessment Device

  • Abigail MansfieldEmail author
  • G.K. Keitner
  • Richard Archambault
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_395

Name and Type of Measure

The Family Assessment Device (FAD) is a 60-item self-report measure of perceived family functioning.


The FAD was developed in 1983 by Nathan Epstein and his family therapy research team (Epstein et al. 1983).

Description of the Measure

The FAD is based on the McMaster Model of Family Functioning (MMFF) and is part of the McMaster Approach to evaluating and treating families. The McMaster Model of Family Functioning (MMFF) was developed in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s and was designed to name and describe areas of family functioning that all families must manage. The FAD has been translated into over 20 different languages. The founders of the model identified six dimensions of family functioning along which all families function:
  • Problem Solving. Problem solving refers to a family’s ability to resolve both instrumental and affective problems in a way that maintains effective family functioning.

  • Communication. Communication refers to the verbal...

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  1. Epstein, N. B., Baldwin, L. M., & Bishop, D. S. (1982). The McMaster clinical rating scale. Providence: Brown University Family Research Program.Google Scholar
  2. Epstein, N. B., Baldwin, L. M., & Bishop, D. S. (1983). The McMaster family assessment device. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 9(2), 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Mansfield, A. K., Keitner, G. I., & Dealy, J. (2015). The family assessment device: An update. Family Process, 54(1), 82–93. Retrieved from Scholar
  4. Miller, I. W., Epstein, N. B., Bishop, D. S., & Keitner, G. I. (1985). The McMaster family assessment device: Reliability and validity. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 11(4), 345–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ryan, C. E., Epstein, N., Keitner, G. I., Miller, I., & Bishop, D. S. (2005). Evaluating and treating families: The McMaster approach. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
  6. Staccini, L., Tomba, E., Grandi, S., & Keitner, G. I. (2015). The evaluation of family functioning by the family assessment device: A systematic review of studies in adult clinical populations. Family Process, 54(1), 94–115.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abigail Mansfield
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • G.K. Keitner
    • 1
  • Richard Archambault
    • 3
  1. 1.Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Rhode Island Hospital; Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Rhode Island Hospital, Department of PsychiatryProvidenceUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Pederson
    • 1
  • Diana Semmelhack
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Midwestern UniversityDowners GroveUSA