The Family Socialization Interview—Revised (FSI-R): a Comprehensive Assessment of Parental Disciplinary Behaviors

Sarah L. O’Dor, Damion J. Grasso, Danielle Forbes, John E. Bates, Kimberly J. McCarthy, Lauren S. Wakschlag, Margaret J. Briggs-Gowan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Elucidating the complex mechanisms by which harsh parenting increases risk of child psychopathology is key to targeted prevention. This requires nuanced methods that capture the varied perceptions and experiences of diverse families. The Family Socialization Interview—Revised (FSI-R), adapted from an interview developed by Dodge et al. (Child Development, 65, 649–665, 1994), is a comprehensive, semi-structured interview for characterizing methods of parental discipline used with young children. The FSI-R coding system systematically rates parenting style, usual discipline techniques, and most intense physical and psychological discipline based on rater judgment across two eras: (1) birth to the previous year, and (2) the previous year to present. The current study examined the psychometric properties of the FSI-R in a diverse, high-risk community sample of 386 mothers and their children, ages 3 to 6 years. Interrater reliability was good to excellent for codes capturing physically and psychologically harsh parenting, and restrictive/punitive parenting styles. Findings supported the FSI-R’s convergent and incremental validity. Importantly, the FSI-R demonstrated incremental utility, explaining unique variance in children’s externalizing and internalizing symptoms beyond that explained by traditional surveys and observed parenting. The FSI-R appeared particularly promising for capturing risk associated with young children’s depressive symptoms, as these were generally not significantly associated with other measures of harsh parenting. Overall, findings support the added value of the FSI-R within a multi-method assessment of disciplinary practices across early child development. Future implications for prevention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-304
Number of pages13
JournalPrevention Science
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Keywords

  • Discipline
  • Family Socialization Interview—Revised
  • Parenting
  • Reliability
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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