Date of Award:

2012

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lori A. Roggman

Abstract

Intervention programs providing support for father parenting skills need a practical but psychometrically strong observational measure of fathers’ early positive parenting interactions with children. The primary purpose of this project was to develop a valid, reliable observational measure of father-child interaction, based on research and theory, that predicts child outcomes, identifies fathers’ strengths, and will be useful for home visiting practitioners. This study sought to fulfill this need by developing a new measure called Dads’ Parenting Interactions with Children—Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO-D) for home visitors to use to identify fathering strengths. Developed with extant video observations of over 400 ethnically diverse, lowincome fathers, 73 positive observable behavioral items of early positive father-child interaction were tested for variability, reliability, and validity. The final measure of 21 items representing four domains of positive parenting, affection, responsiveness, encouragement, and teaching, demonstrated good reliability and validity, including associations with children’s language, cognitive, and social emotional outcomes into prekindergarten. Contextual influences were examined within father ethnicity and child gender groups and in a second observational setting. European and Latino American fathers had higher scores than African American fathers. Fathers had higher scores with daughters than sons. Fathers had higher scores in a semistructured play setting than in a father-choice setting. The new measure is intended for use as part of an individualized strengths-based approach for home visiting practitioners.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on May 10, 2012.

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