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versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027


RICHAUD, María Cristina  y  BEI, Elsa Inés. Construction of a scale for assessing family context from the perspective of parents. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2013, vol.30, n.2, pp.283-296. ISSN 1668-7027.

The purpose of this work is to present the construction and validation of a scale about ideas and beliefs that parents have respect the cognitive development of their children, the kind of breed adopted and the quality of the family context. Among the different aspects that can be considered in what we call early relations, it is found the early stimulation that Galvez (2007) defines as the contact activity or play with a baby or child that propitiates, strengthens and develops appropriately its potentialities. The family plays a fundamental role in the evolutional development of the child. Different models of family organization agreed in the recognition of its importance (Richaud de Minzi, 2005). It also greatly influences the organization of structural and material processes of the home, the planning of activities taking place there and how parents interact with the child (Muñoz Silva, 2005). This organization is determined in part by the parents´ ideas and beliefs on the process of development of children and on the breeding practices (Siegel, McGillicuddy-Delisi & Goodnow, 1992). Taking into account an ecological systemic perspective, Bronfenbrenner's model (1987) shows the individual experience as a set of nearby structures, each inside the next, being the family the closest to the individual and which will offer the first stimulation experiences. From the point of view of the ecological theory of the individual's development, Rodrigo and Palacios (1998) have defined three family context aspects that will affect the child's development and have been taken as indicators for the construction of this instrument. These are the parents' ideas and beliefs regarding their children's cognitive development, the parenting style adopted by them and the quality of the family context. The items proposed by the authors were selected and reformulated taking into account the direct observation of Argentine parents and presented in a Likert format. The preliminary scale remained constituted by 73 items presented in a Likert scale of three points. No agreement, Moderately agree, and Highly agree. Questions referred to the level of education of the parents, age, and quantity of offspring was also incorporated. The preliminary scale was administered to 229 families of children attending four schools in the city of Buenos Aires (Argentina). To study the psychometric fitness of the scale it was first examine the discriminative capacity of the items using t test of mean differences or the contrasting group's method. The test was performed for the original 73 items, founding that 14 of them were no discriminatory. The preliminary scale was then reduced to 59 items. Factorial analysis of these 59 items was done, as a exploratory mode, to determine the number and nature of the dimensions present in the instrument. This test indicated the presence of four factors: (a) family environment related to personal stimulation, (b) family environment which includes stimulating objects, (c) ideas and beliefs, and (d) breeding practices. The items were grouped in coherence with the initial theoretical hypothesis. Based on factorial analysis the four heavier items in each factor (> .40) that they were not factorially complex were taken into account to constitute the final version of the scale. The factorization of the final 16 items clearly showed the items grouping in the four factors observed before (see Figure 2). These four factors explain 60.39% of variance (see Table 1). Reliability as internal consistence of the scale of 16 reactive through the Cronbach Alpha was analyzed and a coefficient of .738 was obtained. The scale here presented enables us to evaluate ideas and beliefs that parents have with respect to the evolving development of the child and how these materialize in its conduct related to the style of breeding as well as to the patterns of action and their interaction. The scale presents good psychometric properties, specially referring to the factorial structure being its reliability as its internal moderate consistency.

Palabras clave : Early stimulation; Beliefs; Parenting style; Family context; Measurement.

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