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Christopher, Suzanne E.; Bauman, Karl E.; & Veness-Meehan, Kathleen (1999). Measurement of Affectionate Behaviors Adolescent Mothers Display toward Their Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 22(1), 1-11.


This paper describes two studies that had three purposes: (a) to modify a parent-child interaction tool used previously in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); (b) to demonstrate interrater reliability, Chronbach's Alpha reliability, and construct validity of the tool with adolescent mothers, and (c) to determine the ability of nurses engaged in usual work duties to observe maternal behaviors. The first study tested interrater reliability. Two NICU nurses were trained, observed adolescent mothers (n = 20) for the same 15 min, and then separately completed the measure. The second study tested internal consistency reliability and construct validity with 107 adolescent mothers with infants in a NICU. Nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit completed the measure, and data on maternal visits were gathered for construct validity. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the first study was r = .83. Results of the second study demonstrated a Chronbach's Alpha of .85 and a significant correlation between ratings of maternal behavior and visits. The instrument obtained acceptably reliable and valid estimates of adolescent mothers' affectionate behaviors toward their infants. In addition, the studies demonstrated that nurses can observe maternal behaviors while performing their usual duties.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing


Christopher, Suzanne E.
Bauman, Karl E.
Veness-Meehan, Kathleen