Measuring maternal gatekeeping: a Rasch analysis of the Parental Regulation Inventory

Lauren E. Altenburger, P. Cristian Gugiu, Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To understand factors that may influence father involvement, researchers have increasingly considered maternal gatekeeping, or the extent to which mothers might attempt to regulate (i.e. encourage, discourage) fathers’ involvement in childrearing. Although several theoretical models of maternal gatekeeping have been advanced in recent years, maternal gatekeeping measurement has lagged significantly behind developments in gatekeeping theory. Rasch analysis offers a useful framework for conducting item-level analyses to evaluate measurement validity and identify areas of improvement for measurement scales. In the present study, Rasch analysis techniques were implemented to (1) illustrate how modern psychometric methods can be applied to validate measures in family psychology and (2) examine the validity of the Parental Regulation Inventory, a commonly used maternal gatekeeping measure (PRI; Van Egeren [2000]. The Parental Regulation Inventory. Unpublished manuscript. Michigan State University). Results indicated that the PRI exhibited adequate construct validity; however, measurement could be improved by including additional items on the PRI subscales. In particular, Rasch analyses indicated floor effects on fathers’ reports of maternal gate closing, floor and ceiling effects on fathers’ reports of maternal gate opening, and floor and ceiling effects on fathers’ reports of maternal communication at 3- and 9- months postpartum. Recommendations for improving maternal gatekeeping measurement and implications for maternal gatekeeping theory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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