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Open Access Research article

An ultra-short screening version of the Recalled Parental Rearing Behavior questionnaire (FEE-US) and its factor structure in a representative German sample

Katja Petrowski1*, Sören Paul2, Markus Zenger3 and Elmar Brähler4

Author Affiliations

1 University of Leipzig, Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 55, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

2 Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187 Dresden, Germany

3 University of Leipzig, Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 55, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

4 University of Leipzig, Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 55, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

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BMC Medical Research Methodology 2012, 12:169  doi:10.1186/1471-2288-12-169

Published: 7 November 2012

Abstract

Background

The Recalled Parental Rearing Behavior questionnaire (FEE, [1,2]) assesses perceived parental rearing behavior separately for each parent. An ultra-short screening version (FEE-US) with the same three scales each for the mother and the father is reported and factor-analytically validated.

Methods

N = 4,640 subjects aged 14 to 92 (M = 48.4 years) were selected by the random-route sampling method. The ultra-short questionnaire version was derived from the long version through item and factor analyses. In a confirmatory factor analysis framework, the hypothesized three-factorial structure was fitted to the empirical data and tested for measurement invariance, differential item functioning, item discriminability, and convergent and discriminant factorial validity. Effects of gender or age were assessed using MANOVAs.

Results

The a-priori hypothesized model resulted in mostly adequate overall fit. Neither gender nor age group yielded considerable effects on the factor structure, but had small effects on means of raw score sums. Factorial validities could be confirmed. Scale sums are well-suited to rank respondents along the respective latent dimension.

Conclusion

The structure of the long version with the factors Rejection & Punishment, Emotional Warmth, and Control & Overprotection could be replicated for both father and mother items in the ultra-short screening version using confirmatory factor analyses. These results indicate that the ultra-short screening version is a time-saving and promising screening instrument for research settings and in individual counseling. However, the shortened scales do not necessarily represent the full spectrum covered by the full-scale dimensions.

Keywords:
Rearing behavior; Screening instrument; Short form; Representative survey; Factor analysis