Purpose: There has been a call to improve measurement rigour and standardization of food parenting practices measures, as well as aligning the measurement of food parenting practices with the parenting literature. Drawing from an expert-informed conceptual framework assessing three key domains of food parenting practices (autonomy promotion, control, and structure), this study combined factor analytic methods with Item Response Modeling (IRM) methodology to psychometrically validate responses to the Food Parenting Practice item bank.
Methods: A sample of 799 Canadian parents of 5-12-year-old children completed the Food Parenting Practice item bank (129 items measuring 17 constructs). The factorial structure of the responses to the item bank was assessed with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), confirmatory bi-factor item analysis, and IRM. Following these analyses, differential Item Functioning (DIF) and Differential Response Functioning (DRF) analyses were then used to test invariance properties by parents' sex, income and ethnicity. Finally, the efficiency of the item bank was examined using computerized adaptive testing simulations to identify the items to include in a short form.
Results: Overall, the expert-informed conceptual framework was predominantly supported by the CFA as it retained the same 17 constructs included in the conceptual framework with the exception of the access/availability and permissive constructs which were respectively renamed covert control and accommodating the child to better reflect the content of the final solution. The bi-factor item analyses and IRM analyses revealed that the solution could be simplified to 11 unidimensional constructs and the full item bank included 86-items (empirical reliability from 0.78 to 0.96, except for 1 construct) and the short form had 48 items.
Conclusion: Overall the food parenting practice item bank has excellent psychometric properties. The item bank includes an expanded version and short version to meet various study needs. This study provides more efficient tools for assessing how food parenting practices influence child dietary behaviours. Next steps are to use the IRM calibrated item bank and draw on computerized adaptive testing methodology to administer the item bank and provide flexibility in item selection.
Keywords: Children; Food parenting practices; Measurement; Parents; Psychometric; Questionnaire; Validity.