Psychosocial measures reported by parents in studies of skin cancer prevention
Background. Because it is important to minimize children's sun exposure to reduce skin cancer risk, much of the extensive skin cancer prevention literature consists of studies of children's sun protection, sun avoidance and ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. Little attention has been focused on the measurement of psychosocial constructs in these studies. Identification of the psychosocial correlates or determinants of children's skin cancer risk or risk-reduction behavior is critical to more fully understand and predict behavior. Furthermore, psychosocial variables may be influenced by interventions to reduce risk. Thus, it is important to examine the psychosocial measures used in studies of children's skin cancer prevention. Information on the validity and reliability of psychosocial measures may increase confidence in study findings based on these measures. In particular, self-efficacy and barriers are key constructs in several major theoretical frameworks and parental measures have been associated with children's sun protection. However, there is conceptual overlap of self-efficacy and barriers measures and little is known about the psychometric properties of these measures. Study Aims and Methods. The overall goal of this dissertation was to examine the measurement of psychosocial constructs relevant to children's skin cancer prevention. Because children depend primarily on their parents for skin cancer prevention, measures of parents' psychosocial constructs are the focus. Study 1 was a systematic review of parental psychosocial measures used in studies of children's sun protection, sun avoidance and UVR exposure. The specific aims of Study 1 were to (1) describe psychosocial measures reported by parents, including available information on the psychometric properties of these measures and their use in analyses and (2) provide recommendations for the development, refinement and standardized reporting of measures. Study 2 examined the psychometric properties of measures of parental self-efficacy and barriers regarding children's sun protection. Melanoma patients (N=205) who were parents of children ≤ 12 years of age completed a telephone interview that included self-efficacy and barriers measures specific to sunscreen, clothing, shade and limiting time outdoors. The specific aims of Study 2 were to (1) use a confirmatory factor analytic approach to examine the factorial validity of parental self-efficacy and barriers measures, (2) examine the convergent and discriminant validity of behavior-specific measures of self-efficacy and barriers and (3) assess the reliability of item and scale measures. Results. In Study 1, a search of standard databases yielded 48 eligible studies. Most studies assessed only one or two psychosocial constructs. Knowledge was measured most frequently. There was little discussion of measure source, development, theoretical background or psychometric properties, besides internal consistency reliability. There was conceptual overlap of some measures. In Study 2, confirmatory factor analytic findings supported the factorial validity of the self-efficacy and barriers measures. When all eight self-efficacy and barriers measures were included in the same model, a modified eight-factor model adequately fit the data, providing preliminary evidence that the measures are distinct. Measure associations supported the convergent validity of all measures and the discriminant validity of most measures. The self-efficacy and barriers measures were reliable. Conclusions. Recommendations based on the literature review include developing and refining psychosocial measures based on theory. Describing a measure's theoretical basis and psychometric properties would facilitate critical evaluation. Standardized reporting of source, development, theory, construct, items and analytic role would facilitate comparison of findings, continual refinement and future applications of measures. In the validation study, self-efficacy and barriers measures were examined in a sample of parents with a personal history of melanoma. Findings suggested that these measures are valid and reliable for use in studies of children's sun protection. There was preliminary evidence that these measures are distinct but additional study is needed.
Tripp, Mary K, "Psychosocial measures reported by parents in studies of skin cancer prevention" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3350088.