Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Paternal Involvement With Infants Scale


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Abstract

A growing body of research reflects the need to focus on fathers’ involvement with their infants. For many years, this was assessed by such domains as cohabitation, financial contributions, and/or asking mothers to rate the quality and quantity of the father’s interactions with their children. Current scholarship has designated father involvement as a multifaceted construct, reflective of changing gender roles of men and fathers in the United States. However, there exists no self-report instrument of father’s involvement with their infants that adequately measures the multifaceted components of the construct. The current project aims to develop a psychometrically sound, theoretically grounded instrument of father involvement. The Paternal Involvement With Infants Scale (PIWIS) is a self-report instrument that assesses a variety of ways in which new fathers are involved with their infant. In Sample 1, fathers of infants (N = 456) completed the PIWIS. Exploratory factor analyses (n = 250) and confirmatory factor analyses (n = 206) supported a 5-factor solution including positive engagement, indirect care, frustration, warmth and attunement, and control and process subscales. Sample 2 (N = 57) participants completed the PIWIS 4 weeks apart in order to provide test–retest reliability scores (r’s > .51). Concurrent evidence of validity was established via significant positive correlations with theoretically related measures of social support, paternal engagement, infant care self-efficacy, parental alliance, parental satisfaction, and overall life satisfaction as well as negative correlations with gender role conflict and depression. Clinical implications and implications for future research are discussed.

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