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15-06-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2018

Psychometric Evaluation of the Multidimensional Co-Parenting Scale for Dissolved Relationships

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2018
Anthony J. Ferraro, Mallory Lucier-Greer, Karen Oehme


Instruments that assess parenting behavior after divorce have largely focused on the domains of general support of and conflict in co-parenting. This paper introduces and validates a measurement tool that provides a more nuanced perspective of the quality of co-parenting behaviors, the Multidimensional Co-Parenting Scale for Dissolved Relationships (MCS-DR). Participants were divorced or currently divorcing parents recruited through a Qualtrics panel (N = 569) to take a university-sponsored, state-approved curriculum, “Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce” and respond to a series of surveys about their experiences in the divorce process. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the underlying factor structure of the initial measurement item pool, which consisted of 48 items. From this, a four factor model emerged, consisting of 23 items; one additional item was removed following tests of measurement equivalence as a function of gender suggesting a final measure which consisted of 22 items across the four subscales. Those subscales include: Overt Conflict, Support, Self-Controlled Covert Conflict, and Externally-Controlled Covert Conflict. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the four factor structure of the MCS-DR. The dimensions of Support and Overt Conflict demonstrate concurrent validity with an existing measure used in the literature on post-divorce co-parenting. Educators and clinicians may find this newly developed scale useful in helping parents identify their strengths and challenges in post-divorce functioning for the well-being of their children. Implications for the field are also discussed in relation to legislatively and judicially mandated divorce classes in many states.

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