Intervention programs aiming to support fathers' parenting skills with young children need a practical, but psychometrically sound, observational measure of fathers' parenting interactions. The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the Parenting Interactions with Children--Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO) measure for use with fathers, and to explore whether additional observational father-behavior items derived from father research and theory would strengthen those psychometric properties. The 29 original PICCOLO items and 44 additional observable behavioral items of early positive father-infant interaction were tested for variability, reliability, and validity, using extant video observations of over 400 ethnically diverse, low-income fathers. The final measure included 21 items, representing the four domains of positive parenting on the original PICCOLO measure: affection, responsiveness, encouragement, and teaching. Items tested for a playfulness domain did not reach adequate psychometric standards. The final version of the PICCOLO for Dads (PICCOLO-D) measure demonstrated good reliability and validity, including predictive associations with children's language, cognitive, and socioemotional outcomes into prekindergarten. Findings indicate that the PICCOLO-D is a psychometric all strong observational measure of early father-child interaction. (Author abstract)
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