Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Isaac Prilleltensky

Second Committee Member

Cengiz Zopluoglu

Third Committee Member

Lydia Buki

Fourth Committee Member

Joshua Diem


Investigations in a variety of disciplines have identified associations between fair treatment and human health and well-being. However, the lack of a valid and practical instrument for assessing individual experiences of fair treatment has limited researchers’ ability to study this construct. The purpose of this study was to develop and establish the preliminary validity of a scale measuring personal experiences of fairness across various ecological levels. The two phases of this study were scale development and scale validation. Scale development included the generation of items, item revision, and analysis of content validity. A review of existing literature and qualitative data derived from focus group discussions informed the initial pool of items. Cognitive interviews and expert input aided in analysis of content validity. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to evaluate the performance of items and underlying factor structure of the scale after the administration of the pool of items to a sample of 460 participants. Results of the first phase supported the conceptualization of fairness along an ecological spectrum. Results from the second phase revealed a bifactor model with one general fairness factor and four Interpersonal, Occupational, Community, and Societal ecological level factors. The final 12-item scale demonstrated good reliability. Results of this study produced an instrument able to measure individual experiences of fairness across four ecological levels.


fairness; justice; scale development; distributive; procedural