• The construction and testing of a measure of parental knowledge of home-based injury risks to preschool children

      Fickling, Judith Ann Whiting; Orme, John G. (1993)
      Injury of children is a major public health problem; each year, more children die from preventable, unintentional injuries than from all other childhood diseases combined. The high incidence of residential childhood injuries suggests that parents may not be aware of safety risks present in the home, of injury control strategies, or of children's developmental capabilities. Other studies have demonstrated the need of parents of all socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds for injury control information and interventions. The ability to determine parents' awareness of injury control issues is critical to the development of effective and efficient injury prevention interventions. No measure of parental knowledge of injury control with demonstrated reliability and validity is available. This study developed and tested the reliability and validity of a measure of parental knowledge of residential injury risks to preschool children. Two methods were used to develop and test the Awareness of Risks in the Child's Home (ARCH) for reliability and validity: intensive interview and survey. The intensive interview was used to determine the readability and clarity of a pool of items. Four surveys were conducted with different convenience samples to (1) assess the content validity of the pool of items, (2) assess the internal consistency and construct validity of the ARCH, (3) assess the criterion (known groups) validity of the ARCH, and (4) assess the test-retest reliability of the ARCH. Two factors emerged from the 40-item measure. The 11-item factor named Informed Knowledge obtained an internal consistency reliability of.75 and a test-retest reliability of.42; the 8-item factor named Conventional Knowledge obtained an internal consistency reliability of.70 and a test-retest reliability of.80. A statistically significant difference between the scores on the measure of the public health sample and the pediatrician sample was obtained. A statistically significant correlation also was obtained by each factor with a measure of locus of control. Results of this initial attempt to construct a measure of parental knowledge of home-based injury risks to preschool children suggests potential for further development of the ARCH. Future testing should include other populations, such as mothers from different socioeconomic groups and with fathers and male guardians.