The Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale (FDAS)

Developed by Dr. Bruce Fisher, the Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale (FDAS) consists of statements reflecting common feelings and attitudes of people who have ended or are ending a love relationship. The FDAS questions are designed to be marked differently as you work through the adjustment process. The Scale provides measures of your adjustment in six categories and a total score. Start Rebuilding is the official provider of the FDAS online.


The Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale is the universally accepted measure of divorce adjustment and has been been taken by almost a million people. Dr. Bruce Fisher developed the Scale in 1976 as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Northern Colorado. He revised and statistically improved it in 1978.

The FDAS can be used by itself or in conjunction with the book Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends, workbook, and seminar. Additionally, therapists, counselors, mediators, and attorneys recommend the FDAS as the results provide insightful information into the client’s strong and weak areas.

Who should take the FDAS

Anyone who is experiencing or has experienced the loss of a love relationship will benefit from taking the FDAS. It is also helpful for people trying to make a decision on whether or not to end a relationship. People who take the Scale consistently report that it is a very accurate reflection of their current feelings and outlook.

Why take the FDAS

Most people feel better just by taking the assessment as they discover their feelings are normal responses to a breakup. The results provide a comprehensive view of your level of adjustment. With this concrete information, you will learn which specific areas to focus your rebuilding energies.


Here are some comments we’ve received recently:

“It has given me a realistic indication of where I’m at in this process and for that I am grateful.”

“This was an eye opener and I will act upon this information accordingly. Thanks, perhaps in another six months I will retake the test again.”

“Now I know what I need to be working on. Thank you so much for having this tool available.”

“It was so nice to be able to see my progress from the first time I took the test. I thank you so much for providing this service. I feel like it accurately reflects where I am.”

“The anger and grief scores were most revealing to me. Thanks for the opportunity to do this profile.”

“I reviewed the results and they seem in par with the current state of my heart.”

“I feel these scores indicate where I am at this point. I know these scores would have been so different three months ago, so I do believe I am moving forward. Thank you for sending my scores to me so quickly. “

What is the FDAS

The FDAS assesses your adjustment at the end of a love relationship. When taking the FDAS, you choose a response ranging from ‘almost always’ to ‘almost never’ for each of the 100 statements to reflect your current attitudes and feelings. There are no right or wrong answers to the statements and how you respond reflects how you’re feeling at the moment.

FDAS results provide a total score and six category scores which gauge:

  • Level of self-esteem
    • Sample: “I like the person I am.”
  • Investment in the previous relationship
    • Sample: “I am constantly thinking about my former love partner.”
  • Anger
    • Sample: “I can communicate with my former love partner in a calm and rational manner.”
  • Feelings of sadness and loneliness
    • Sample: ”I am physically and emotionally exhausted from morning until night.”
  • Ability to trust again
    • Sample: “I feel uncomfortable just thinking about dating.”
  • Readiness for more social interaction
    • Sample: “I am comfortable telling people I am separated from my former lover partner.”

When to take the FDAS?

It can be taken at any stage of the breakup even if you’re just thinking about ending your love relationship. The FDAS can be repeated multiple times to assess your improvement.

Why the FDAS is a valid measure

Research has determined that there is a high correlation between the FDAS and other personality instruments such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, though the FDAS does not measure mental or emotional illness.

The Alpha Internal Reliability for the total score is .985 which is high for a personality test. The subtest scores range in reliability from .87 to .95. Face validity is good as evidenced by feedback from the test takers. The fact that scores improve with time just as divorce adjustment improves with time is further proof that the measurements are legitimate.

In another test of validity based on a sample size of 100 people that were followed for three years, the total scores on the FDAS increased after one year but the scores increase even more when the subjects were tested three years later. This indicates that after one year, divorce adjustment is partially completed and adjustment continues to occur for at least three years after the physical separation. Further, the test shows that participation in the Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends seminar speeds up divorce adjustment and that scores after the ten-week seminar appear to improve about the same as one year of adjustment without participating in the program.