Risk Engagement and Protection Survey (REPS): developing and validating a survey tool on fathers’ attitudes towards child injury protection and risk engagement

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IntroductionFathers play a unique role in keeping children safe from injury yet understanding of their views and attitudes towards protecting children from injury and allowing them to engage in risks is limited. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate an instrument to measure fathers’ attitudes towards these two constructs.Methods and findingsAn instrument was developed that used prior qualitative research to inform item generation. The questions were assessed for content validity with experts, then pilot-tested with fathers. The survey was completed by 302 fathers attending hospital with their child for an injury or non-injury reason. Results of confirmatory factor analysis identified eight items relating to the protection from injury factor and six items relating to the risk engagement factor. Correlation between the two factors was low, suggesting these are two independent constructs.ConclusionsThe Risk Engagement and Protection Survey offers a tool for measuring attitudes and assisting with intervention strategy development in ways that reflect fathers’ views and promotes a balanced view of children’s needs for safety with their needs for engaging in active, healthy risk-taking.

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