Child-Robot Relationship Formation


Three four-item self-report scales that measure – on a five-point scale – children’s feelings of closeness toward, trust in, and perceived social support from a social robot. The English items are backt ranslations of the original Dutch items (see below). The Dutch scales were validated among children aged 7 to 11 (for details, see location). The scale of trust was inspired by a measure of the concept as presented by Larzelere and Huston (1980). The scale of perceived social support was developed based on measures as presented by Gordon-Hellingsworth et al. (2016) and Leite et al. (2014). The measure of closeness was newly developed by Van Straten et al. (2020).


van Straten, C.L., Kühne, R., Peter, J., de Jong, C., & Barco, A. (2020). Closeness, trust, and perceived social support in child-robot relationship formation: Development and validation of three self-report scales. Interaction Studies, 21(1), 57-84. doi: 10.1075/is.18052.str

Open access link:


  • Gordon-Hollingsworth, A.T., Thompson, J.E., Geary, M.A., Schexnaildre, M.A., Lai, B.S., & Kelley, M.L. (2016). Social Support Questionnaire for Children: Development and initial validation. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 49(2), 122–144.
  • Larzelere, R.E., & Huston, T.L. (1980). The dyadic trust scale: Toward understanding interpersonal trust in close relationships. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 42(3), 595–604.
  • Leite, I., Castellano, G., Pereira, A., Martinho, C., & Paiva, A. (2014). Empathic robots for long-term interaction: Evaluating social presence, engagement, and perceived support in
    children. International Journal of Social Robotics, 6(3), 329–341.‑014‑0227‑1
  • Severson, R.L., & Lemm, K.M. (2016). Kids see human too: Adapting an individual differences measure of anthropomorphism for a child sample. Journal of Cognition and Development, 17(1), 122–141.


The items are answered on a 5-point visualized response scale which runs from ‘does not apply at all’ to ‘applies completely’ (children can point out their answers). The response scale was adapted from Severson & Lemm (2016) and is included as an appendix in Van Straten et al. (2020).


  1. Nao is a friend.
  2. I feel comfortable around Nao.
  3. Nao and I are becoming friends.
  4. Nao and I are a good match.
  5. Nao feels like a friend to me.


  1. I feel that I can trust Nao.
  2. I feel that Nao can keep one of my
  3. I feel that Nao is honest.
  4. I feel that Nao is trustworthy.

Perceived social support

  1. If I were in trouble I could rely on Nao.
  2. If I were in trouble Nao would be willing to help me.
  3. If I were in trouble Nao would stand up for me.
  4. If I were in trouble Nao would cheer me up.