Parental self-efficacy: Development of a measure to prevent children’s environmental contaminant exposure
Jody S. Nicholson, Lauren James
Journal of Behavioral Health. 2016;
Background: Indoor environmental contaminants (ECs) are prevalent and have dire consequences to children’s
development, especially for children under six. To optimize the efficacy of programs aiming to prevent exposure
to ECs, it is necessary to investigate parental factors that influence behavioral change. This study presents
a measure developed to assess parental self-efficacy (PSE) for preventing children from being exposed to
ECs, the PSE for Contaminant Exposure Prevention (PSE-CEP). Methods: The PSE-CEP was administered to
parents of children under six drawn from a low-income preschool (n = 210) and an on-line polling website
(n = 377). An exploratory factor analysis was conducted, convergent and discriminant validity were assessed,
and the relation of the measure to demographic and parenting characteristics were examined. Results: Based
on model fit indices, a four-factor model was the best fit. Factors represented confidence in prevention
using cleaning, medical care, children’s physical environment, and meal time. All factors of the PSE-CEP
demonstrated good reliability and construct validity and were related to more optimal parenting characteristics.
Conclusion: A measure of this type will allow interventions to be tailored based on parents’ self-efficacy to
more appropriately support them in taking steps to create healthier environments for their children.