A comprehensive instrument to measure parental involvement, autonomy support, and structure in children's schooling

Denise Scappaticcio, Fordham University


The Parental Autonomy Support Instrument (PASI) was developed to operationalize and validate an existing model of parenting, in which autonomy support, control, structure, and involvement are unique and essential features of parenting. An extensive process of instrument development was utilized including initial item development, field testing, and assessment of the instrument's psychometric properties. Final item selections and revisions were based on expert review, preliminary item tryout, and data reduction through factor analysis with meaningful interpretations of the constructs. The final 17-item instrument, which accounted for approximately 54% of the variance in the data, was subjected to multiple reliability and validity assessments. Internal consistency measures were acceptable for the Involvement, Structure, and Control scales, but marginal for the Autonomy Support scale. The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) indicated goodness of fit according to some criteria and marginal fit according to other criteria. Convergence and divergence were not supported with an existing parenting inventory, the Parent-Child Relationship Inventory (PCRI). A retrospective comparison of the two instruments indicated they appear to be measuring different constructs. Regression analyses indicated a statistically significant prediction between autonomy support, as measured by the PASI, and language arts and mathematics achievement. However, criterion-related validity was not demonstrated between structure and involvement and multiple child outcome measures. Overall, this study demonstrated some of the uniqueness and utility of the parenting constructs studied, but it appears the constructs are more complex than was understood during initial item development. Closer attention to the apparent multifaceted nature of the constructs is necessary in future studies.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Quantitative psychology

Recommended Citation

Scappaticcio, Denise, "A comprehensive instrument to measure parental involvement, autonomy support, and structure in children's schooling" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3361363.