Fear of Intimacy Scale: Validation and extension with adolescents

Michelle D. Sherman, Mark H. Thelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study was designed to validate the Fear-of-Intimacy Scale (FIS) (Descutner & Thelen, 1991) with an adolescent population, with reference to both the measure's original target, a dating partner (FIS-D) and a new target of the closest same-sex friend (FIS-F). High-school sophomores (158 males and 167 females) completed questionnaires pertaining to their relationships. Strong psychometric properties of both the FIS-D and FIS-F were evidenced in this study, and construct validity was supported by associations with related constructs (e.g. loneliness) and self-report items. Notable sex differences emerged, in that males reported higher fear of intimacy in their same-sex friendships, while females indicated higher fear of intimacy in their dating relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-521
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • Adolescence
  • Friendship
  • Intimacy

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