Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Social Work

Committee Chair

Faul, Anna

Author's Keywords

Scale development; Structural equation modeling; Pitirim Sorokin; Love; Divorce; Confirmatory factor analysis


Sorokin, Pitirim Aleksandrovich, 1889-1968; Divorced people--Psychology; Love--Psychological aspects


The purpose of this dissertation was to describe the development and validation of the Sorokin Psycho-Social Love Inventory (SPSLI) and the testing of a Predictor Model of love actions for people who experienced divorce. The SPSLI is based on five dimensions of love outlined in a theory of love developed by sociologist, Pitirim Sorokin. The scale was developed with a sample of 518 individuals who were going through a divorce or had been through a divorce. It measures high love, low love and hate actions toward a former spouse. The validation of the SPSLI utilized Classical Measurement Theory which allowed for the examination of reliability, face and content validity on the item structure in development of the subscales. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), which is theory driven, was then used to determine if higher order constructs could be found that would measure high and low love and high hate actions toward a former spouse. The results of CF A indicated that while the high love model met the requirements of a reliable and valid scale (high love a=0.92) it was necessary to change some of the theoretical assumptions followed in the study in order to create a higher order low love scale (low love a= 0.81) and a higher order hate (a=0.86) scale. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) then guided the development of the structural model which displayed the interrelations among latent variables hypothesized to predict high love actions. Based on the squared multiple correlations, the independent variables were able to explain 24% of the variance in anger toward a former spouse, and 39% of the variance in hate toward a former spouse. After including the mediators, the independent variables, together with anger toward spouse and hate, were able to explain 17% of the variance in emotions and 40% of the variance in altruism. The total model was able to explain 28 % of the variance in love actions toward a former spouse. One of the most significant results of the study was that it was possible for individuals who experienced divorce to express other-regarding love actions toward their former spouses. Altruism and positive emotions led divorcing individuals to show other-regarding love actions no matter whether hate or anger was present.