The Postpartum Support Questionnaire: Psychometric Properties in Adolescents

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Abstract

PROBLEM

Receiving adequate social support has been associated with positive outcomes for the postpartum adolescent and her baby. Therefore, social support is an important variable to include in research studies of postpartum adolescents. However, instruments developed for use in adults cannot be assumed to reliably and validly measure health-related concepts such as social support in adolescents (Rogler, 1999; Yarcheski, Mahon, & Yarcheski, 1992) without psychometric evaluation.

PURPOSE

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the reliability and validity of the Postpartum Support Questionnaire (PSQ) (Logsdon, 2002; Logsdon, Usui, Birkimer, McBride, 1996) with adolescents.

METHOD

The PSQ was revised for use with adolescents, based upon focus groups with adolescents and professionals. Then, the PSQ was administered to a convenience sample of postpartum adolescents (N = 109) recruited from the Teenage Parent Program.

FINDINGS

High internal consistency reliability was demonstrated for the total instrument and subscales. Factor analysis supported four factors, in line with the PSQ data with adults, with some indication for an additional adolescent factor. However, in adolescents material support and emotional support tend to load on the same factor.

CONCLUSIONS

Social support may be defined differently in postpartum adolescents, but further research with a larger sample is needed to substantiate this finding. Instruments with psychometric data specific to adolescents should be chosen by researchers who study this group.

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