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Keywords:

  • empowerment;
  • instrument testing;
  • nursing;
  • parents;
  • personnel;
  • reliability;
  • validity

Abstract

Aim

This paper reports a study testing of the validity and reliability of the personnel version of the Family Empowerment Scale in family services in Finland.

Background

The role of family services in parental reinforcement is important, given their extensive reach to most families and their aim of promoting family welfare. No instruments applicable to this situation were available in Finland. The Family Empowerment Scale is a widely used instrument that measures parent's empowerment. The personnel version of the Family Empowerment Scale enables an evaluation of the reinforcement of empowerment.

Design

This study used a cross-sectional survey design.

Methods

The Family Empowerment Scale was modified to measure how family services personnel evaluate reinforcement of parental empowerment. In May 2009, a questionnaire was sent to unit heads (= 457) in public social, health and educational services for families with children aged 0–9 years. The construct, convergent and discriminant validities, reliability and responsiveness of the personnel version of the Family Empowerment Scale were assessed.

Results

According to confirmatory factor analysis, the personnel version of the Family Empowerment Scale comprised three subscales (family, service system and community) as in the original Family Empowerment Scale. Confirmed convergent and discriminant validities supported the same construct. The reliability of the personnel version of the Family Empowerment Scale was acceptable. The reinforcement level of parental empowerment was high. Parental empowerment was reinforced most in health and least in educational services.

Conclusion

The psychometric properties of the personnel version of the Family Empowerment Scale were acceptable. It can serve as a generic instrument for assessing reinforcement of empowerment in family services in Finland.