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Psychometric properties of the parent-infant caregiving touch scale

Koukounari, A., Pickles, A., Hill, J. and Sharp, H. (2015) Psychometric properties of the parent-infant caregiving touch scale. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. 1887. ISSN 1664-1078

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01887

Abstract/Summary

Recent work in animals suggests that the extent of early tactile stimulation by parents of offspring is an important element in early caregiving. We evaluate the psychometric properties of a new parent-report measure designed to assess frequency of tactile stimulation across multiple caregiving domains in infancy. We describe the full item set of the Parent-Infant Caregiving Touch Scale (PICTS) and, using data from a UK longitudinal Child Health and Development Study, the response frequencies and factor structure and whether it was invariant over two time points in early development (5 and 9 weeks). When their infant was 9 weeks old, 838 mothers responded on the PICTS while a stratified subsample of 268 mothers completed PICTS at an earlier 5 week old assessment (229 responded on both occasions). Three PICTS factors were identified reflecting stroking, holding and affective communication. These were moderately to strongly correlated at each of the two time points of interest and were unrelated to, and therefore distinct from, a traditional measure of maternal sensitivity at 7-months. A wholly stable psychometry over 5 and 9-week assessments was not identified which suggests that behavior profiles differ slightly for younger and older infants. Tests of measurement invariance demonstrated that all three factors are characterized by full configural and metric invariance, as well as a moderate degree of evidence of scalar invariance for the stroking factor. We propose the PICTS as a valuable new measure of important aspects of caregiving in infancy.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:51841
Publisher:Frontiers Media

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