Semantic differentials and the process of developing one to measure maternal role competence



The semantic differential (SD) technique is seen increasingly in studies by nurse investigators A better understanding of this technique will assist in the appraisal of findings based on SD data In taking a semantic differential the respondent describes the meaning of a given concept or stimulus by marking a senes of bipolar adjective pair scales Scoring and analysis can proceed in vanous ways but should not violate the semantic differential's multidimensional nature The evaluative, potency, and activity dimensions commonly seen in the technique are described How to construct an SD is explained The ease with which an SD can be completed makes this technique suitable for clinical populations The process of developing an SD to measure maternal role competence provides an example of using the technique in a new area of investigation Factor analysis of the SD to measure the concept myself as a mother revealed that the adjective pairs did not duster according to the typical SD dimensions Alternative dimensions are described These new dimensions gain support from their correlation with other measures of maternal role The SD provides a promising technique for the measurement of maternal role competence