Observed parenting behavior with teens: Measurement invariance and predictive validity across race


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Previous reports supporting measurement equality between European American and African American families have often focused on self-reported risk factors or observed parent behavior with young children. This study examines equality of measurement of observer ratings of parenting behavior with adolescents during structured tasks; mean levels of observed parenting; and predictive validity of teen self-reports of antisocial behaviors and beliefs using a sample of 163 African American and 168 European American families. Multiple-group confirmatory factor analyses supported measurement invariance across ethnic groups for four measures of observed parenting behavior: prosocial rewards, psychological costs, antisocial rewards, and problem solving. Some mean-level differences were found: African American parents exhibited lower levels of prosocial rewards, higher levels of psychological costs, and lower problem solving when compared to European Americans. No significant mean difference was found in rewards for antisocial behavior. Multigroup structural equation models suggested comparable relationships across race (predictive validity) between parenting constructs and youth antisocial constructs (i.e., drug initiation, positive drug attitudes, antisocial attitudes, problem behaviors) in all but one of the tested relationships. This study adds to existing evidence that family-based interventions targeting parenting behaviors can be generalized to African American families.

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