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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: TV parenting practices: Is the same scale appropriate for parents of children of different ages?

item Chen, T
item O'connor, Teresia
item Hughes, Sheryl
item Frankel, Leslie
item Baranowski, Janice
item Mendoza, Jason
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item Baranowski, Tom

Submitted to: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2013
Publication Date: 4/2/2013
Citation: Chen, T.A., O'Connor, T.M., Hughes, S.O., Frankel, L., Baranowski, J., Mendoza, J.A., Thompson, D.J., Baranowski, T. 2013. TV parenting practices: Is the same scale appropriate for parents of children of different ages? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 10:41.

Interpretive Summary: An important issue in parenting research is whether the same parenting measurement scale is equally accurate or valid with children of different ages. This study combined data from three studies that used the same television parenting questionnaire, but included children of different ages (from 3 to 12 years old). A statistical technique, called Differential Item Functioning (DIF), was used to test whether the same items were used differently (i.e., were located at different points along an underlying measurement scale) by parents of different educational levels or languages, and of children of different ages. The results revealed that the most DIF was detected by child age, but some DIF was detected by parental education and language. While the results need to be replicated in other samples, the findings indicate that some items may be age-specific or the scales must be calibrated for child age.

Technical Abstract: Our purpose was to use multidimensional polytomous item response modeling (MPIRM) to evaluate the psychometric properties of a television (TV) parenting practices (PP) instrument and to perform differential item functioning (DIF) analysis to test whether item parameter estimates differed across education, language, or age groups. We completed secondary analyses of data from three studies that included 358 children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old in Houston, Texas. TV PP included 15 items with three subscales: social co-viewing, instructive parental mediation, and restrictive parenting. The multidimensional partial credit model was used to assess the performance. DIF was used to investigate the differences in psychometric properties across subgroups. Classical test theory analyses revealed acceptable internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha: 0.72 to 0.83). More items displaying significant DIF were found across children's age groups than parental education or language groups. A Wright map revealed that items covered only a restricted range of the distribution, at the easier to respond end of the trait. We concluded that TV PP scales functioned differently on the basis of parental education, parental language, and child age, with the highest DIF among the latter. Additional research is needed to modify the scales to minimize these moderating influences. Some items may be age specific.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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