FAST Test Instructions

  The evaluator (E) demonstrates the test materials and introduces the FAST to the family members taking the test, with the following remarks:

"I would now like to explain a procedure we use for representing family relations. With this board and these figures and blocks (E shows the test material) you can show how close the members of your family are to one another and how much power or influence each member has in the family. Members of the same family usually evaluate their relations differently."

E now explains the representation of cohesion:

"Here are male and female figures representing the members of your family. By arranging the figures on the board, you can show how close the members of your family are to each other. You can use any of the spaces on the board."

E then places a pair of figures side-by-side on two adjacent squares on the board (minimum distance) and says:

"This means that these two members of the family have a very close relationship."

E now places the same two figures on two diagonally adjacent squares (second closest distance) and then moves them apart to two diagonally opposed corners of the board (maximum distance), and says:

"The further apart you place two figures, the more emotionally distant they are to each other. Placing the figures on diagonally opposite corners of the board means that you think the relationship between these two family members is not at all close."

E now explains the way hierarchy is represented using the two figures already positioned on the board:

"Here are blocks of three different sizes that you can use to elevate the figures. You can use these blocks to represent the power or influence that each member has in the family. The higher a figure is placed, the more power or influence that person has in the family. You can use any number of different blocks to elevate the figures."

E demonstrates this by elevating one of the figures with the smallest block (minimum increase, smallest difference in height) and says:

"This means that both family members have relatively little power or influence, although this one has slightly more than the other (points to the respective figures). In other words there is little difference in hierarchy between the two."

E demonstrates varying differences in height between the two figures by using the different-sized blocks, and says:

"The greater the difference in height between the two figures, the more hierarchical their relation is."

E raises both figures to equal height with two of the same sized blocks and says:

"If you place two figures at the same height, it means that their power or influence is balanced or equal."

E can now answer any questions the family members might have about the FAST.