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01.11.2010 | Ausgabe 6/2010

Maternal and Child Health Journal 6/2010

Conceptual and Measurement Issues in Early Parenting Practices Research: An Epidemiologic Perspective

Zeitschrift:
Maternal and Child Health Journal > Ausgabe 6/2010
Autoren:
Lorraine O. Walker, Russell S. Kirby

Abstract

Early parenting practices are significant to public health because of their linkages to child health outcomes. This paper focuses on the current state of the science regarding conceptual frameworks that incorporate early parenting practices in epidemiologic research and evidence supporting reliability and validity of self-report measures of such practices. Guided by a provisional definition of early parenting practices, literature searches were conducted using PubMed and Sociological Abstracts. Twenty-five published studies that included parent-report measures of early parenting practices met inclusion criteria. Findings on conceptual frameworks were analyzed qualitatively, whereas evidence of reliability and validity were organized into four domains (safety, feeding and oral health, development promotion, and discipline) and summarized in tabular form. Quantitative estimates of measures of reliability and validity were extracted, where available. We found two frameworks incorporating early parenting: one a program theory and the other a predictive model. We found no reported evidence of the reliability or validity of parent-report measures of safety or feeding and oral health practices. Evidence for reliability and validity were reported with greater frequency for development promotion and discipline practices, but report of the most pertinent type of reliability estimation, test–retest reliability, was rare. Failure to examine associations of early parenting practices with any child outcomes within most studies resulted in missed opportunities to indirectly estimate validity of parenting practice measures. Stronger evidence concerning specific measurement properties of early parenting practices is important to advancing maternal-child research, surveillance, and practice.

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