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08-10-2018 | Original Article

Why is this Happening? A Brief Measure of Parental Attributions Assessing Parents’ Intentionality, Permanence, and Dispositional Attributions of Their Child with Conduct Problems

Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Vilas Sawrikar, Antonio Mendoza Diaz, Caroline Moul, David J. Hawes, Mark R. Dadds
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10578-018-0844-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


We present and evaluate a new self-report measure of parental attributions developed for assessing child causal and dispositional attributions in parenting interventions. The Parent Attribution Measure (PAM) ascribes attributions along first-order dimensions of intentionality, permanence, likeability, and disposition, and a higher-order Total Scale. The psychometric analyses involved participants drawn from populations of clinical (n = 318) and community-based families (n = 214) who completed questionnaires assessing parental attributions, parenting behaviours, parental depression, parental feelings about the child, and child behavioural problems. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a 3-factor hierarchical structure provided a close fitting model. The model with intentionality, permanence, and disposition (consolidating likeability and disposition) dimensions as first-order factors grouped under a higher-order general factor was validated in independent samples and demonstrated sound psychometric properties. The PAM presents as a brief measure of parental attributions assessing parents’ intentionality, permanence, and dispositional attributions of their child with conduct problems.

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