Development and Evaluation of the Fathers’ Expectations About Sons’ Masculinity Scale (Short Form)

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Abstract

The Fathers’ Expectations about Sons’ Masculinity Scale (FEASMS) assesses men’s recollections of fathers’ expectations for their masculinity, including expectations that sons conform to traditional masculine norms and the overall rigidity of these expectations. Participants were 651 community-dwelling and college men, from which a random sample of 300 was selected for an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) of the FEASMS. The EFA resulted in a 49-item 5-factor scale with simple structure, and moderate-to-strong factor loadings and factor intercorrelations. A shorter form was created by taking 4 of the highest loading items from each factor while ensuring coverage of the construct. Data from the remaining 351 participants were used to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), which found that the underlying structure for the Fathers’ Expectations about Sons’ Masculinity Scale (Short Form; FEASMS-SF) items retained the 5-factor dimensionality of the original scale. Common factors, hierarchical, and bifactor models were compared, with the results indicating that the bifactor model best fit the data. Model-based reliability estimates tentatively support the use of the raw FEASMS-SF total score to represent the general construct of fathers’ expectations about sons’ masculinity, and the raw score of the Importance of Sex subscale to represent that specific norm. However, the other 4 of the 5 group factors accounted for less reliable variance and are best assessed using latent variables. The convergent construct validity of the FEASMS-SF general factor was supported by its associations with other latent variables in its nomological network. Results are discussed in terms of future research directions and implications for practice and prevention.

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