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Further Validation of a Parental Tolerance Measure




Loper, Miranda

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Tolerance for child misbehavior is defined as the amount of annoyance experienced when a child misbehaves. This construct has received relatively little attention in the field of child psychology and most of this research has focused on teacher tolerance for student’s misbehavior. Very little research has evaluated parental tolerance of children’s misbehavior. It has been suggested that abusive parents perceive their children more negatively when compared to nonabusive parents and that they have lower tolerance levels of children’s negative behaviors. One problem with the few studies examining tolerance for misbehavior is that there are no well-validated measures to study this construct. One recent investigation addressed this weakness by constructing a measure of tolerance, called the Child Rearing Inventory (CRI) and found that the CRI has good internal consistency, adequate rest-retest reliability, and initial evidence of concurrent and construct validity. However, some limitations of this study were that only one method of measurement was used and the concurrent validity was established with only two measures, one of which was developed as part of the study. Participants in the current study include 86 parent-child dyads with children ages 4 to 12 who have a history of physical abuse and 44 comparison parent-child dyads with children ages 8 to 12. In addition, two groups of 18 parent-child dyads were matched on various demographics from the abusive and comparison dyads. Measures used in the present study included screening measures, a demographic questionnaire, the CRI, the Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC), and the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System-II (DPICS-II). The hypothesis that the CRI would show exploratory construct validity was partially supported, with significant correlations found between the CRI and the BASC in the total sample and in the abusive sample, and between the CRI and the DPICS-II Parent Inappropriate Behavior composite in the abusive sample. The hypothesis that the CRI scores would be predicted by various measures was not supported. The CRI scores were not significantly lower at post treatment for the abusive dyads, as hypothesized, although statistical levels approached significance. Finally, the hypothesis that the CRI would predict abuse status was not supported. Implications of the present study as well as directions for future research are presented and discussed.