Preliminary data on internal reliability of the Knowledge of Effective Parenting Scale (KEPS)
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Parenting competence in dealing with children’s problematic behaviour has a large impact on health children development (Collins et al., 2000). Some studies have operationalized parenting competence in terms of knowledge of child developmental processes, showing that as higher the knowledge as lower the potential for child abuse and neglect in adolescent mothers (Dukevic et al., 1996). However this type of knowledge is not suited to assess complex interaction between parents and children. Furthermore, research has concentrated on risk samples like mothers of pre-terms infants or adolescent mothers. The Knowledge of Effective Parenting Scale (KEPS; Morawska et al., 2007) measures the knowledge of effective parenting strategies with children aged 2-10 years on four broad areas: promotion of development, principles of effective parenting, use of assertive disciplines and causes of behaviour problems. The Italian version of the KEPS was administered to 137 parents (range 2-10 years; M=6.73, SD=2.05; Median=8). The instrument consists of 28 multiple-choice questions. Each corrected answer is scored as 1 and uncorrected with 0. Respondents were 78.1% mothers and 21.9% fathers (Mmean=40.66, SD=5.67; Fmean=43.03; SD=7.52). Parents were high educated, 37.2% had a university degree, and 49.6% finished high school. Only 13.1% of parents attended only the middle school. 46% of the respondents owned a house, and 33.6% are paying for their own apartments. The KEPS showed a high level of internal consistency, as determined by a Cronbach’s a=.783, and Guttman Split-Half Coefficient was .725. No significant KEPS score differences were found along child’s age and gender and parent’s perceived economic condition and occupation status. Further analysis are needed to confirm the internal consistency of the KEPS, with other pilot studies assessing test-retest correlation and inter-rater estimations to obtain a reliable tool suitable in clinical and research settings.