Codie Atherton was just awarded a Master of Clinical Psychology degree after completing her thesis titled “Developing a Brief Measure of Coparenting Competence: The Coparenting Competence Scale” under the supervision of Dr Linda Campbell and Dr Chris May (Family Action Centre).
Within the family, one of the most significant relationships that occurs is the coparenting relationship. This is the one that parents share in the raising of children. Recent research by May, St George, Fletcher, Dempsey, and Newman (2017) has developed the concept of coparenting competence, which is the sense of collective parenting efficacy that parents experience in raising children, that is generated in the coparenting relationship and only exists in association with that partnership. The concept of coparenting competence bridges a gap between family systems thinking and efficacy theory wherein research has previously focused on the self-efficacy of one or either parent and not the collective efficacy within the parenting partnership.
In order to learn more about how well parents think they parent together and to enable studies in which coparenting competence is measured - in the current study - we developed a self-adminstered measure of coparenting competence – the Coparenting Competence Scale. The measure was designed by experts in collaboration with parents. The reliability and validity of the measure was tested by asking 302 participants, who were currently living together with their child and had at least one child aged 17 years or younger, to complete the measure online. The current study found support for the reliability and validity of the scale and also found that coparenting competence, assessed by the scale, is distinct from factors previously used to represent coparenting quality in multivariate measures. The current study makes an important contribution to coparenting research with the development of a reliable and valid measure of coparenting competence. The development of the scale adds to the literature by demonstrating that this newly described construct is distinct from factors previously used to represent coparenting quality in multivariate measures. The scale adds to the field of coparenting research as a standalone measure, focused on efficacy, or as another assessable factor in multivariate evaluation of coparenting quality.
Codie’s thesis will be made available on Nova – The University of Newcastle’s digital repository. We are also currently writing up the findings for publication. We will keep you posted.
Hi, I am Dr Linda Campbell. I am an Academic and a Clinical Psychologist. This blog is meant to keep you in the loop about the activities of of our research lab - the FIND Lab.