Date of Award:

1997

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Susan L. Crowley

Abstract

This present study examined the application of generalizability theory (GT) to the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) long and short forms for families having children with disabilities. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the dependability of parenting stress data scores gathered from families having children with disabilities. The data for the present study came from an extant data set collected by the Early Intervention Research Institute (EIRI; Contract #800-85-0173) at Utah State University. The EIRI studies represented attempts to assess the benefits and cost of conducting early intervention programs. The EIRI data were recoded at the item level for the Psychometrics Project, which established norms, reliability, and validity information on self-report, family-functioning measures gathered from families having children with disabilities.

The GT study results suggested that the items facet made a large contribution, indicating that there may not be any established trends in item responses. An explanation for the items facet indicates that the PSI forms provide an accurate measure of overall parental stress. According to the times facet results, the effects of time are minimal except the increase between occasion one to occasion two. Classical reliability theory (CRT) and GT analyses provide contradictory results, probably due to GT's multiple error source analyses compared to CRT's examination of a single error source in one analysis.

GT study analyses indicate that the highest g and phi coefficients are produced with the highest number of administrations and items. However, administering the highest number of administrations and items would be impractical within any setting. The original number of items from the Parent Domain, Child Domain, and short PSI total score should be administered twice to increase the dependability of scores and still fall within practical limitations.

A researcher and/or practitioner may want information to decide what form, long or short, to choose. If the PSI is to be used as a quick screening tool or as one test in a complete assessment, the short form may be of more use. If the PSI is to be used as a primary source of information about parent and child interactive systems, the long PSI version would be recommended.

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