Abstract: Validation of the Parent Assessment of Protective Factors Survey Measure with Caregivers at Risk for Child Maltreatment in the State of Texas (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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554P Validation of the Parent Assessment of Protective Factors Survey Measure with Caregivers at Risk for Child Maltreatment in the State of Texas

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Lisa S. Panisch, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Rochester
Swetha Nulu, MPH, Assistant Research Director, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Beth Gerlach, PhD, LCSW, Associate Director, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Monica Faulkner, PhD, LMSW, Research Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin
Catherine LaBrenz, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
Patrick Tennant, PhD, Project Manager, Rice University
Background and Purpose: A history of adverse childhood experiences among primary caregivers can heighten the risk of child maltreatment and neglect, thereby perpetuating intergenerational patterns of trauma transmission. Risk levels are compounded by systemic factors, such as poverty and historical patterns of racial and ethnic discrimination and oppression. An increasing amount of focus is being directed towards identifying and strengthening protective factors that could mitigate such risks. Strengths-based approaches use instruments like the Parent Assessment of Protective Factors (PAPF), a 36-item assessment with four subscales measuring social connections, social/emotional competence, caregiver resilience, and concrete support. Currently, the PAPF has only been validated with a sample of low-risk, primarily White, English-speaking, well-educated caregivers, which raises questions about its validity when applied to more diverse groups of caregivers. This study was conducted to investigate the validity of the factor structure of the PAPF measure using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with adversity-exposed, ethnically diverse caregivers in Texas.

Methods: Data in the current analysis were gleaned from an evaluation of child maltreatment prevention program conducted throughout Texas from 2016-2017. Among the sample (N = 773) of primarily Hispanic caregivers participating in the program (78%) English and Spanish (31%) versions of the PAPF were completed. A majority of caregivers in this study experienced unemployment (57.7%), a history of child adversity (63.6%), systemic barriers to childcare (63.3%), and 35.6% had health insurance through Medicaid/CHIP. First, a principal component analysis was conducted using Varimax rotation. Four main factors were identified that explained 68.86% of the cumulative variance in the data. An exploratory factor analysis was then conducted with Varimax rotation using the four identified factors, followed by a CFA test with maximum likelihood estimation.

Results: Assumptions of adequate sample size, multivariate normality, and linearity for EFA and CFA were met and satisfied, and Bartlett’s test of Sphericity for the EFA was statistically significant. An EFA revealed that construct validity was congruent with the four subscales outlined in the original PAPF validation study. All 36 items had primary factor loadings between .5-.9, and 25 items did not have any cross-loading values above three. Of the 11 remaining items, the highest cross-loading factors were between .3-.41. Fit statistics of the CFA were adequate (RMSEA=.062, CFI=.919, TLI=.912, SRMR=.044). The CFA confirmed the results of the EFA and no modifications to the model were justified. Internal consistency was analyzed for each of the four factors, and excellent reliability was observed (caregiver resilience & social/emotional competence α=.94; social connections α=.95, concrete support α=.92).

Conclusions and Implications: Preliminary findings provide evidence in support of PAPF as a valid and reliable instrument appropriate for use with a diverse group of caregivers in Texas who are at considered at-risk for child maltreatment. Directions for future research include additional validation studies with caregivers with expanded regional and demographic characteristics. If validity of the PAPF continues to be demonstrated, it can be used to help identify and bolster protective factors among vulnerable families.