This scale is about the perception of a father’s role in one’s life. Arguably, the expectations about fathers has changed over the course of the 20th century (Finley and Schwartz, 2004).

Finley and Schwartz Nurturant Fathering Scale measures exactly how nurturing a father is according to the person who fills in the form.

In a population of 2,353 students (31% male and 69% female), the average score was 33.26 (on a scale from 9 to 45). The standard deviation is 9.02, which means that scores below 24.24 or above 42.28 fall outside the norm (i.e., one SD from the mean).

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It seems that the Nurturant Fathering Scale can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Finley and Schwartz, 2004).


The scale wording varies from question to question. Therefore, it is implemented with radio questions instead of one scale question.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
l: enjoy
t: radio
q: How much do you think your father <i>enjoyed</i> being a father?
- {score=5} A great deal
- {score=4} Very much
- {score=3} Somewhat
- {score=2} A little
- {score=1} Not at all

l: support
t: radio
q: When you needed your father’s <i>support</i>, was he there for you?
- {score=5} Always there for me
- {score=4} Often there for me
- {score=3} Sometimes there for me
- {score=2} Rarely there for me
- {score=1} Never there for me

l: energy
t: radio
q: Did your father have enough <i>energy</i> to meet your needs?
- {score=5} Always
- {score=4} Often
- {score=3} Sometimes
- {score=2} Rarely
- {score=1} Never

l: confide
t: radio
q: Did you feel that you could <i>confide in</i> (talk about important personal things with) your father?
- {score=5} Always
- {score=4} Often
- {score=3} Sometimes
- {score=2} Rarely
- {score=1} Never

l: time
t: radio
q: Was your father available to spend <i>time</i> with you in activities?
- {score=5} Always
- {score=4} Often
- {score=3} Sometimes
- {score=2} Rarely
- {score=1} Never

l: close
t: radio
q: How emotionally <i>close</i> were you to your father?
- {score=5} Extremely close
- {score=4} Very close
- {score=3} Somewhat close
- {score=2} A little close
- {score=1} Not at all close

l: adolescent
t: radio
q: When you were an <i>adolescent</i> (teenager), how well did you get along with your father?
- {score=5} Very well
- {score=4} Well
- {score=3} Ok
- {score=2} Poorly
- {score=1} Very poorly

l: rate
t: radio
q: Overall, how would you <i>rate</i> your father?
- {score=5} Outstanding
- {score=4} Very good
- {score=3} Good
- {score=2} Fair
- {score=1} Poor

l: presence
t: radio
q: As you go through your day, how much of a <i>psychological presence</i> does your father have in your daily thoughts and feelings?
- {score=5} Always there
- {score=4} Often there
- {score=3} Sometimes there
- {score=2} Rarely there
- {score=1} Never there

l: nfs
t: set
- sum $enjoy $support $energy $confide $time $close $adolescent $rate $presence

l: feedback
t: info
q: The score on the nurturant father scale can range between 9 and 45 points.
Your entered answered result in a score of {$nfs} points.
Please read the PsyToolkit page about interpreting this score.


  • Finley, G.E. & Schwartz, S.J. (2004). The father involvement and nurturant fathering scales: retrospective measures for adolescent and adult children. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64(1), 143-164. DOI: 10.1177/0013164403258453.