Title page for ETD etd-10172009-122717

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Harty, Michal
Email michal.harty@up.ac.za
URN etd-10172009-122717
Document Title The validation of a task-specific measure of parenting self-efficacy for use with mothers of young children
Degree PhD
Department Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Advisor Name Title
Prof E Alant Co-Supervisor
Prof J Bornman Supervisor
  • task-specific self-efficacy
  • self-efficacy
  • reliability
  • parenting self-efficacy
  • operationalization
  • global self-efficacy
  • early childhood intervention
  • mothers
  • domain-general self-efficacy
  • validity
Date 2009-09-01
Availability unrestricted
This research develops and validates a task-specific parenting self-efficacy measure focussing on the following domains: showing affection and empathy, engaging in play, facilitating routines, establishing discipline strategies, providing appropriate learning and development activities, and promoting communication interaction. Self-efficacy can be described as a personís belief in his or her ability to successfully complete tasks. Self-efficacy beliefs are among the most consistent predictors of success and performance in many contexts. As a result, self-efficacy has been investigated across a variety of domains. Parenting self-efficacy can be defined as judgement which a parent has regarding his or her ability to successfully complete the tasks related to parenting a child. Increasing parentsí competence in raising and supporting their children throughout life is regarded as one of the cornerstones of adaptive parenting. As improving parenting self-efficacy has been known to have a positive effect on parenting competence it has been incorporated as a component of early childhood intervention programmes in recent years.

Numerous self-efficacy instruments are currently being used to measure self-efficacy within the parenting literature. In the development of this particular measure, challenges surrounding the conceptualization and operationalization of parenting self-efficacy have been investigated. The parenting sense of efficacy instrument (P-SEMI) was developed from theoretical frameworks within both parenting and self-efficacy domains. A classification for the definition and development of parenting self-efficacy measures is proposed. The relevant theoretical constructs are operationalized in order to identify their observable indicators (discrete parenting tasks).

The main aim of this empirical research is therefore to validate the P-SEMI by establishing the internal consistency reliability, as well as face, content, construct, and differential validity for the measure. The design used is a descriptive survey type design with three phases. Phase 1 established validity in the conceptual domain. The measure was developed and content validity was investigated by a panel of subject matter experts. Phase 2 established validity in the methodological domain. During this phase the measure was administered to two groups of mothers; mothers of children with a disability, and mothers of typically developing children. Seventy-nine mothers participated in this phase of the study. Two additional established measures were used as convergent measures, namely the general self-efficacy scale (which is a global self-efficacy measure) and the parenting sense of competence scale (which is a domain-general measure). Based on the data collected from these participants, content, construct and differential validity was established. Phase 3 established initial validity in the substantive domain.

Results indicated that the P-SEMI is a reliable and valid task-specific measure for assessing the level of parenting self-efficacy of mothers of young children. The P-SEMI is moderately correlated to both of the existing self-efficacy measures used as convergent measures. The newly developed task-specific measure was the only measure which was able to differentiate between the levels of parenting self-efficacy. As a result this measure is applicable as a clinical tool to measure parenting self-efficacy, and can be used to conduct further research within the field of parenting self-efficacy.

© 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Harty, M 2009, The validation of a task-specific measure of parenting self-efficacy for use with mothers of young children, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10172009-122717/ >


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