The Parent Motivation for Early Intervention Participation Scale for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Friday, May 12, 2017: 12:00 PM-1:40 PM
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
K. Marsh, D. A. Prykanowski and A. C. Huggins-Manley, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Family-based practices in early intervention (EI) facilitate the development of parental skills and provide families access to the resources necessary to support positive development of their young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD; American Psychological Association, 2013). Families are trained to use individualized strategies and acquire techniques in order to implement interventions with their children in the natural home setting (Hanson & Lynch, 2013). As family-implemented practices continue to be applied with parents of children with ASD, it is vital to evaluate how parental motivation to fully participate in implementation may affect the efficacy of these practices.


This poster will present findings from a pilot study on the development and implementation of the Parent’s Motivation for Early Intervention Participation scale. The measure aims to assess parent’s readiness to actively participate in interventions for their children with ASD.


Using the Evidence-centered design framework, the researchers constructed forty-four items to represent a spectrum of motivation from readiness to resistant (Mislevy, Almond, & Lukas, 2003; See Figures 1-3). Readiness describes always being in a state of change and influenced by others, whereas ambivalent portrays clients who want their children’s behaviors to change but realize this change may result in inconveniences in their lives. Resistance describes levels of denial and the act of defending the behaviors that are already in place (Rollick & Miller, 1993). Content validity was measured using seven experts who rated the items as “hard to agree with,” “somewhat difficult to agree with,” or “easy to agree with.” Results were used to revise the items and finalize the rating scale, which was redistributed to a larger pool (n = 25) of experts in early childhood to further define the targeted constructs. The final step in development includes distributing the scale to parents with children with ASD (n = 150) who are currently receiving EI services at home and conducting a factor analysis of the items.


The means of the items were calculated and ranked from highest to lowest. No item was rated as difficult to agree with by all seven experts. Experts were asked to rate how well the overall construct was being measured and the results ranged from 2 (adequately) to 4 (very much), with a mean rating on 3.14. Cronbach’s alpha was .85 respectively, indicating high internal consistency. The average intra-class coefficient was .874 with a 95% confidence interval from .772 to .941. Results indicate that motivation may also be influenced by external barriers to participation (e.g., job responsibilities, finances) and the scale was revised to reflect these findings. Items applicable specifically to parents of children with ASD were also added to the finalized version of the rating scale.


The construction of the parental motivation rating scale has helped further define reasons why families with children with ASD may or may not want to be actively involved in their children’s intervention. Data from the final pilot study will be presented and discussed to further understand parents’ readiness to actively participate in family-centered practices.