Crowell problem solving procedure: a psychometric analysis of a laboratory measure of the caregiver-child relationship

Ginny Sprang, Carlton Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Many decades of research demonstrates that the presence of and perceived quality of the parent-child bond can impact a child's health, mental health, and interpersonal trajectory for a lifetime (Weinfield, Sroufe, Egeland, & Carlson, 1999 Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. New York: Guilford Press, 68; Lieberman, Infant Mental Health Journal, 25, 336, 2004). However, investigations regarding the utility of methods to evaluate the quality and nature of caregiver-child interactions are limited. Using clinical data from 151 caregiver-child dyads, this study examines the psychometric properties of the Crowell Problem Solving Procedure Rating Scale using exploratory factor analysis. Additionally, the predictive validity of the coding system was examined via comparisons with the Parent-Infant Relationship Global Assessment Scale (PIRGAS).

FINDINGS: The child and adult scales were each psychometrically defined by a single factor that was internally consistent and well-defined conceptually by the representative items. High internal consistency for each scale provides support for the reliability of the rating scale, and suggests that the Crowell scores can be useful as two separate scales measuring a child's affective presentation and caregiver responsiveness, but also collectively as a total score assessing overall relational functioning. Aspects of the caregiver-child relationship were significantly related to PIRGAS scores on the child and adult domains.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest the Crowell Problem Solving Procedure Rating Scale is a brief tool, with good internal consistency, that can assess a wide range of young children, in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.


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