Parent Report on Child's Close Friends

Abstract

The Parent Report on Child's Close Friends measure was first given in year 8 of this study as part of the summer interview. The measure consists of 10 questions, centered around three main topics: the child's best friend, the child's second best friend, and the child's close friends. For each topic, parents are asked the same three questions: 1) does this friend get into trouble with teachers, the police, or other adults?, 2) does this friend do things you disapprove of?, and 3) are you concerned about the negative influence this friend has on your child? The tenth question asks parents, "How much does your son/daughter hang around with kids who get into trouble?"

The first nine items use a scale of 1 to 4 (very much, somewhat, a little, and not at all). The last item uses a scale of 1 to 5 (never, almost never, some, frequently, and all the time). The first nine items were reversed in order to be more consistent with other scales of this type (i.e. a low score would indicate less concern while a high score would indicate more concern). Item 10 is rescaled to a four-point scale for consistency with the other items.

Four scales were theoretically derived by summing across the items for each subscale. The first subscale, Trouble with Adults, includes three items that ask whether the child's best friend, second best friend, and close friends get into trouble with the police, teachers, or other adults. The second subscale, Parental Disapproval of Friends, includes three items that ask whether the parent disapproves of the things the child's best friend, second best friend, and close friends do. The third subscale, Parental Concern over Negative Influence of Friends, includes three items that ask whether the parent is concerned about the negative influence of the child's best friend, second best friend, and close friends. The fourth scale, Total Parental Concern, includes all ten items with item 10 rescaled, so that a low score indicates that the parents are not very concerned about their child's friends and a high score indicates that the parents are very concerned about their child's friends.

All of the subscales showed a moderate to high level of internal reliability for both the control and the normative samples.

Analysts should note that one subscale, Parental Disapproval of Friends, was normally distributed for both the control and normative samples. One subscale, Trouble with Adults, was positively skewed for both samples. The other two subscales, Parental Concern over Negative Influence of Friends and Total Parental Concern, were positively skewed for the normative sample and normally distributed for the control sample.

Users of this measure should consider using the overall scale, Total Parental Concern, which showed a high level of reliability for both the normative and the control samples. In addition, if the researcher needs further information, the other three scales could be used as well. Researchers and analysts should note that a number of responses about the second best friend were missing, seeming to indicate that parents are less likely to know who is their child's second best friend.

Dataset Names

Raw Dataset Name: PyO
Scored Dataset Name: PCFySPc

Keywords

Peer Relationships, Delinquent Behaviors, Peer Influence