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24-02-2016 | Uitgave 8/2016

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 8/2016

Parental Flooding During Conflict: A Psychometric Evaluation of a New Scale

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 8/2016
Auteurs:
Tamara Del Vecchio, Michael F. Lorber, Amy M. Smith Slep, Jill Malik, Richard E. Heyman, Heather M. Foran
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10802-016-0137-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Parents who are overwhelmed by the intensity and aversive nature of child negative affect — those who are experiencing flooding — may be less likely to react effectively and instead may focus on escaping the aversive situation, disciplining either overly permissively or punitively to escape quickly from child negative affect. However, there are no validated self-report measures of the degree to which parents experience flooding, impeding the exploration of these relations. Thus, we created and evaluated the Parent Flooding scale (PFS), assessing the extent to which parents believe their children’s negative affect during parent-child conflicts is unexpected, overwhelming and distressing. We studied its factorial validity, reliability, and concurrent validity in a community sample of 453 couples with 3- to 7-year-old children (51.9 % girls) recruited via random digit dialing. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated a one-factor solution with excellent internal consistency. Test-retest stability over an average of 5.6 months was high. Concurrent validity was suggested by the associations of flooding with parents’ aggression toward their children, overreactive and lax discipline, parenting satisfaction, and parents’ anger, as well as with child externalizing behavior and negative affect. Incrementally concurrent validity analyses indicated that flooding was a unique predictor of mothers’ and fathers’ overreactive discipline and fathers’ parent-child aggression and lax discipline, over and above the contributions of parents’ anger and children’s negative affect. The present results support the psychometric validity of the PFS.

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