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Abstract

This article reports the construction and pilot reliability, validity, and psychometric properties of a new caregiver–child rating scale that emphasizes caregiver–child socioemotional interactions and relationships. While the scale was developed and studied in orphanages for young children, it potentially could be used in nonresidential early care and education settings as well as for parent–child interactions in the home. The intent was to assess a few dimensions that comprehensively cover the range of caregiver–child socioemotional interactions and relationships, by means of a scale that could be administered in a relatively short time period in a variety of situations and would not require extensive coder training, manuals, or materials. Results showed that the scale can be reliably administered even using observation periods as short as 5 min, that inter-rater reliability was acceptable (based on data from two raters working in two orphanages, and five raters working in another), and that ratings of caregivers were similar across different types of caregiving activities (i.e., feeding, dressing/bathing, free play) and for caregivers attending to children birth to 4 and 4 to 8 years of age. In the orphanage context, factor analyses showed that the scale primarily reflects caregiver–child mutual engagement and relationship with subordinate components of caregiver punitiveness and caregiver- versus child-directed behaviors and intrusiveness.