California Inventory for Family Assessment

Welcome to the home page of the
California Inventory for Family Assessment
The CIFA is copyright (c) 1989, 1992, 1996 by
Paul D. Werner, Ph.D. and Robert-Jay Green, Ph.D.

A Brief Overview of the California Inventory for Family Assessment

Most family theorists view enmeshment and cohesiveness as family characteristics worthy of attention. The theoretical model underlying the California Inventory for Family Assessment views the cohesion-enmeshment domain of family functioning as entailing not a single dimension (with disengagement at one pole and enmeshment at the other) but rather as comprised of two independent dimensions: intrusiveness (blurring or violation of boundaries) and closeness-caregiving (relationship-enhancing behaviors such as warmth and nurturance).

The CIFA was developed to assess clinically-relevant aspects of intrusiveness and closeness- caregiving, as well as openness of communication in family dyads. Three hallmarks of the CIFA are (a) assessment of dyadic relationship behavior (e.g., wife-husband; brother-sister) rather than behavior at the level of the "family as a whole," (b) the possibility of assessing each family member's view of others' behaviors, as well as of self-reports of one's own behavior within family dyads, and (c) attention to the study of a range of family groupings and of families of diverse characteristics.

In studies of adult-adult relations, the CIFA has been used in research on married couples' dyadic behaviors. It has also been used in research on relationships in lesbian couples and in gay couples. Similarly, the CIFA has been used to study college men's and women's dating relationships, and the relationships between teenage mothers and their partners. The CIFA also has been used in studies of parent-adolescent/young adult child relationships, and of sister-brother relationships. Research on the CIFA has taken place, or is currently taking place, in the United States, France, Taiwan, and Mexico. Within the United States, studies have been conducted with ethnically diverse samples, as well as with samples representing particular ethnic groups (e.g., Mexican Americans, African Americans).

The CIFA web site contains the following materials:

CIFA Manual The CIFA Manual summarizes the theoretical/conceptual background of the inventory. It describes the scales of the inventory and their scoring, and lists available versions of the CIFA as well as alternative ways of using it. Administration, scoring, and profiling of scores are discussed. Research with the CIFA is, summarized and discriptive statistics for various samples are presented. The Manual also provides information for those who wish to apply to use the CIFA in research.

CIFA Bibliography The CIFA bibliography lists publications pertaining to the CIFA, as well as conference papers and other unpublished documents summarizing research with the inventory. Dissertations that used the CIFA are also listed.

Translations of the CIFA Follow this link for a list of translated versions of the CIFA in languages other than English

Additional Resources for CIFA Researchers Materials that may be of use to CIFA researchers are included here.

Contact information for the authors of the California Inventory for Family Assessment

This web page is copyright (c) 1999 by Paul D. Werner and Robert-Jay Green. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the written permission of the authors.