Advertisement

Assessing Parental Attributions through an Implicit Measure: Development and Evaluation of the Noncompliance IAT

  • Sarah M. RabbittEmail author
  • Christina M. Rodriguez
Original Paper

Abstract

Objectives

Assessing parental attributions can be challenging given the reticence of some caregivers to report information that may be considered controversial or pejorative. To address this issue, recent efforts have focused on expanding existing parenting assessment batteries to include implicit measures. One of the most common methods for implicit assessment, the Implicit Association Test (IAT), had not yet been adapted to assess parental attributions. Two studies evaluated the psychometric properties (including convergent, concurrent, incremental, and predictive validity) of the novel Noncompliance IAT (N-IAT).

Methods

Study 1 included a low-risk sample of mothers (N = 60) of preschoolers. Study 2 included a diverse and higher risk sample of mothers and fathers who were assessed at three time points: immediately before the birth of their first child (N = 202 women; N = 144 male partners) and then 6 and 18 months after the birth.

Results

Findings from both studies supported the utility of the N-IAT as a measure of implicit parental attributions. The N-IAT demonstrated evidence of convergent and concurrent validity (e.g., significant correlations with explicit attribution measures and with measures of parenting) in both studies. The longitudinal design of Study 2 allowed for the evaluation of incremental and predictive validity; N-IAT scores before childbirth predicted later N-IAT scores, with indications that the N-IAT could demonstrate incremental validity related to child abuse risk. Study 2 also demonstrated moderate test stability for mothers and fathers.

Conclusions

These results suggest that the N-IAT may be a helpful adjunct to assessments of parental attribution.

Keywords

Implicit Association Test Parent attributions Noncompliance Analog tasks Psychometrics 

Notes

Funding

The first study was based on the doctoral dissertation of the first author with funding support provided by the Department of Psychology at Yale University. The second study was supported by an award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to the second author (Award # R15HD071431). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.

Author Contributions

S.M.R Designed and executed Study 1, completed data analyses for Study 1, developed the N-IAT, worked with CMR in revising the N-IAT, and collaborated with C.M.R in writing the manuscript. C.M.R conducted Study 2 and performed those analyses.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Study 1 was approved by the Yale University Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Study 2 was approved by the University of Alabama Birmingham IRB.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the studies.

References

  1. Abidin, R. R. (1990). Parenting stress index professional manual. 3rd edn. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Abidin, R. R. (1992). The determinants of parenting behavior. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 21, 407–412.Google Scholar
  3. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Manual for the child behavior checklist/4-18 and 1991 profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  4. Aspland, H., & Gardner, F. (2003). Observational measures of parent‐child interaction: an introductory review. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 8, 136–143.Google Scholar
  5. Bavolek, S. J., & Keene, R. G. (2001). Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI-2): Administration and development handbook. Park City, UT: Family Development Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
  6. Bennett, D. S., Sullivan, M. W., & Lewis, M. (2006). Relations of parental report and observation of parenting to maltreatment history. Child Maltreatment, 11, 63–75.Google Scholar
  7. Berlin, L. J., Dodge, K. A., & Reznick, J. S. (2013). Examining pregnant women’s hostile attributions about infants as a predictor of offspring maltreatment. JAMA Pediatrics, 167, 549–553.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bianchi, S. M. (2009). What gives when mothers are employed? Dual-earner and single earner two-parent families. In D. R. Crane & E. J. Hill (Eds), Handbook of families and work: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 305–330). Lanham: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  9. Black, D. A., Heyman, R. E., & Smith Slep, A. M. (2001). Risk factors for child physical abuse. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 6, 121–188.Google Scholar
  10. Bugental, D. B., & Happaney, K. (2002). Parental attributions. In M. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Being and becoming a parent (vol. 3, pp. 539–605). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  11. Callender, K. A., Olson, S. L., Choe, D. E., & Sameroff, A. J. (2012). The effects of parental depressive symptoms, appraisals, and physical punishment on later child externalizing behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 471–483.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Conners, N. A., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Deere, D., Ledet, T., & Edwards, M. C. (2006). Measuring the potential for child maltreatment: the reliability and validity of the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory-2. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30, 39–53.Google Scholar
  13. Costello, A. H., & McNeil, C. B. (2014). Differentiating parents with faking-good profiles from parents with valid scores on the Child Abuse Potential Inventory. Journal of Family Violence, 29, 79–88.Google Scholar
  14. Dadds, M. R., Mullins, M. J., McAllister, R. A., & Atkinson, E. (2003). Attributions, affect, and behavior in abuse-risk mothers: a laboratory study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 21–45.Google Scholar
  15. Daggett, J., O'Brien, M., Zanolli, K., & Peyton, V. (2000). Parents' attitudes about children: associations with parental life histories and child-rearing quality. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 187–199.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. De Los Reyes, A., & Kazdin, A. E. (2005). Informant discrepancies in the assessment of childhood psychopathology: a critical review, theoretical framework, and recommendations for further study. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 483–509.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Derogatis, L., & Cleary, P. (1977). Confirmation of the dimensional structure of the SCL90: a study in construct validation. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 33, 981–989.Google Scholar
  18. Dishion, T., & Granic, T. (2004). Naturalistic observation of relationship processes. In S. N. Haynes, E. N. Helby & M. Hersen (Eds), Comprehensive handbook of psychological assessment (vol. 3, pp.143–161). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Dix, T., Reinhold, D. P., & Zambarano, R. J. (1990). Mothers’ judgments in moments of anger. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 36, 465–486.Google Scholar
  20. Eckhardt, C. I., Samper, R., Suhr, L., & Holtzworth-Munroe, A. (2012). Implicit attitudes toward violence among male perpetrators of intimate partner violence: a preliminary investigation. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27, 471–491.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Farc, M. M., Crouch, J. L., Skowronski, J. J., & Milner, J. S. (2008). Hostility ratings by parents at risk for child abuse: impact of chronic and temporary schema activation. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 177–193.Google Scholar
  22. Fazio, R. H., & Olson, M. A. (2003). Implicit measures in social cognition research: their meaning and use. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 297–327.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Fiedler, K., Messner, C., & Bluemke, M. (2006). Unresolved problems with the “I”, the “A”, and the “T”: a logical and psychometric critique of the Implicit Association Test (IAT). European Review of Social Psychology, 17, 74–147.Google Scholar
  24. Gawronski, B., LeBel, E. P., & Peters, K. R. (2007). What do implicit measures tell us?: scrutinizing the validity of three common assumptions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2, 181–193.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: the Implicit Association Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1464–1480.Google Scholar
  26. Greenwald, A. G., Nosek, B. A., & Banaji, M. R. (2003). Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test: I. An improved scoring algorithm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 197–216.Google Scholar
  27. Haltigan, J. D., Leerkes, E. L., Burney, R. V., O’Brien, M., Supple, A. J., & Calkins, S. D. (2012). The infant crying questionnaire: initial factor structure and validation. Infant Behavior and Development, 35, 876–883.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Haskett, M. E., Scott, S. S., Willoughby, M., Ahern, L., & Nears, K. (2006). The Parent Opinion Questionnaire and child vignettes for use with abusive parents: assessment of psychometric properties. Journal of Family Violence, 21, 137–151.Google Scholar
  29. Holden, G. W. (2015). Parenting: A dynamic perspective. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Julian, T. W., McKenry, P. C., & McKelvey, M. W. (1994). Cultural variations in parenting: perceptions of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American parents. Family Relations, 43, 30–37.Google Scholar
  31. Kazdin, A. E., & Whitley, M. K. (2006). Comorbidity, case complexity, and effects of evidence-based treatment for children referred for disruptive behavior. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 455–467.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Leerkes, E. L., & Siepak, K. (2006). Attachment linked predictors of women’s emotional and cognitive responses to infant distress. Attachment and Human Development, 8, 11–32.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Leung, D. W., & Smith Slep, A. M. (2006). Predicting inept discipline: the role of parental depressive symptoms, anger, and attributions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 524–534.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Mash, E. J., & Johnston, C. (1990). Determinants of parenting stress: illustrations from families of hyperactive children and families of physically abuse children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 19, 313–328.Google Scholar
  35. McElroy, E., & Rodriguez, C. M. (2008). Mothers of children with externalizing behavior problems: cognitive risk factors for abuse potential and discipline style and practices. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 774–784.Google Scholar
  36. Milner, J. S. (1986). The Child Abuse Potential Inventory: Manual. 2nd edn. Webster: Psyctec.Google Scholar
  37. Milner, J. S. (1994). Assessing physical child abuse risk: the Child Abuse Potential Inventory. Clinical Psychology Review, 14, 547–583.Google Scholar
  38. Milner, J. S. (2000). Social information processing and child physical abuse: theory and research. In D. J. Hansen (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation, 1998: Motivation and child maltreatment (vol. 46, pp. 39–84). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  39. Montes, M. P., de Paul, J., & Milner, J. S. (2001). Evaluations, attributions, affect, and disciplinary choices in mothers at high and low risk for child physical abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 25, 1015–1036.Google Scholar
  40. Nelson, J. A., O’Brien, M., Calkins, S. D., & Keane, S. P. (2013). Mothers’ and fathers’ negative responsibility attributions and perceptions of children’s problem behavior. Personal Relationships, 20, 719–727.Google Scholar
  41. Nock, M. K., & Banaji, M. R. (2007). Prediction of suicide ideation and attempts among adolescents using a brief performance-based test. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 707–715.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Nosek, B. A., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (2007). The Implicit Association Test at age 7: a methodological and conceptual review. In J. A. Bargh (Ed.), Automatic processes in social thinking and behavior (pp. 265–292). London: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  43. Nosek, B. A., & Sriram, N. (2007). Faulty assumptions: a commentary on Blanton, Jaccard, Gonzales, and Christie (2006). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 393–398.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Patterson, G. R., & Fisher, P. A. (2002). Recent developments in our understanding of parenting: bidirectional effects, causal models, and the search for parsimony. In M. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Practical issues in parenting (vol. 5, pp. 59–88). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  45. Rabbitt, S. M. (2013). Noncompliance is in the eye of the beholder: the impact of a stress manipulation on maternal perceptions of child noncompliance. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.Google Scholar
  46. Rodriguez, C. M. (2018). Predicting parent-child aggression risk: cognitive factors and their interaction with anger. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33, 359–378.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Rodriguez, C. M., Cook, A. E., & Jedrziewski, C. T. (2012). Reading between the lines: implicit assessment of the association of parental attributions and empathy with abuse risk. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36, 564–571.Google Scholar
  48. Rodriguez, C. M., Silvia, P. J., & Gaskin, R. E. (2017). Predicting maternal and paternal parent-child aggression risk: longitudinal multimethod investigation using social information processing theory. Psychology of Violence.  https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000115.Google Scholar
  49. Rodriguez, C. M., Smith, T. L., & Silvia, P. J. (2016). Multimethod prediction of physical parent-child aggression risk in expectant mothers and fathers with social information processing theory. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51, 106–119.Google Scholar
  50. Rodriguez, C. M., & Tucker, M. C. (2015). Predicting physical child abuse risk beyond mental distress and social support: additive role of cognitive processes. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 24, 1780–1790.Google Scholar
  51. Smith Slep, A. M., & O'Leary, S. G. (1998). The effects of maternal attributions on parenting: an experimental analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 12, 234–243.Google Scholar
  52. Sturge-Apple, M. L., Rogge, R. D., Peltz, J. S., Suor, J. H., & Skibo, M. A. (2015). Delving beyond conscious attitudes: validation of an innovative tool for assessing parental implicit attitudes toward physical punishment. Infant and Child Development, 24, 240–255.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Varela, R. E., Vernberg, E. M., Sanchez-Sosa, J. J., Riveros, A., Mitchell, M., & Mashunkashey, J. (2004). Parenting style of Mexican, Mexican American, and Caucasian-non-Hispanic families: social context and cultural influences. Journal of Family Psychology, 18, 651–657.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Wahler, R. G., & Dumas, J. E. (1989). Attentional problems in dysfunctional mother-child interactions: an interbehavioral model. Psychological Bulletin, 105, 116–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Yeung, W. J., Sandberg, J. F., Davi-Kean, P. E., & Hofferth, S. L. (2001). Children’s time with fathers in intact families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 136–154.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOberlin CollegeOberlinUSA
  2. 2.University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

Personalised recommendations