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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Adult offspring of alcoholic parents: development and investigation of the psychometric properties of the behavior role scale Schneider, John Donald


The primary objective of this study was the development and investigation of the psychometric properties of a measurement instrument based on the integrated model of behavior roles of offspring of alcoholic parents (Schneider, 1989,1995). The Behavior Role Scale was developed utilizing Crocker and Algina's (1986) 10 step instrument development process and deals directly with the concepts of the original models of behavior roles of offspring of alcoholic parents (Black, 1981; Booz-Allen & Hamilton, 1974; Deutsch, 1983; Kritzberg, 1985; Wegscheider, 1981). The first three steps of the instrument development were completed in an earlier investigation (Schneider, 1989). In this investigation, steps 4 - 8 were completed. The following activities were undertaken: step 4, the construction of an initial pool of items; step 5, the review and revision of the items with the assistance of a panel of experts; step 6, a preliminary tryout of the items in a pilot test; step 7, a field test of the instrument with a nonclinical sample of offspring of alcoholic parents and offspring of nonalcoholic parents; and, step 8, initial investigation of the psychometric properties of the behavior role scale. This investigation contributed the following findings. The field test yielded reliability estimates of .72 for the Caretaker, .67 for the Super Achiever, .86 for the Invisible One, .89 for the Jester, .78 for the Rebel, and an overall alpha of .88. Initial validity was indicated by the emergence of a five factor model as the most interpretable factor analysis solution. The performance of the Behavior Role Scale was also investigated using six validity issues identified in the literature. Offspring of alcoholic parents, offspring of nonalcoholic parents who had experienced a significant family disruption, and offspring of nonalcoholic parents who had not experienced a significant family disruption had significantly different scores with the Super Achiever, Invisible One, and Rebel roles. The three groups did not demonstrate significant differences with the Caretaker or Jester roles. Additional significant differences were discovered with the Jester and Rebel roles among offspring of alcoholic fathers when they were compared according to their fathers' pattern of drinking. The findings of this investigation add to the research evidence which suggests that refinements need to be made to improve the clinical and psycho-educational uses of the behavior roles of offspring of alcoholic parents. Recommendations for future research include submitting the Behavior Role Scale to construct validation studies in order to further refine its ability to measure behavior roles and to be of assistance to researchers seeking to unravel the complexities of life for more than 28 million offspring of alcoholic parents.

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