Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


This research project outlines the preliminary construction of the Measure of Mothering (MOM) , a self-report rating instrument based upon the research on the relationship between maternal caregiving and the development of psychological disorders in children. Such an instrument is needed because there appears to be no published measure designed to assess mothering effectiveness. Two primary questions were addressed in this study: (a) can an instrument be developed that measures mothering effectiveness based on dimensions derived from the literature?, and (b) Can a pilot test of the instrument demonstrate that it possesses acceptable psychometric qualities? The first procedure used in this project involved the preliminary construction of a measure which contained items corresponding to seven dimensions of mothering obtained from a review of the literature. The second method entailed an evaluation of the original items by expert judges in order to establish content-related validity, resulting in a revised version of the MOM, including the addition of five dimensions. The third procedure involved a pilot test of the realized instrument using a non-clinical group of mothers. The last two steps involved analyses of reliability and preliminary validity. The reliability analysis resulted in the deletion of 21 items in order to increase overall subscale reliabilities, which ranged from .44 to .87. In order to evaluate the internal consistency of the MOM as a single scale, a reliability analysis was computed resulting in an alpha of .94 prior to deleting items. This suggests that the MOM is measuring a homogeneous construct. Six subgroups were obtained from the sample based on responses to three of the demographic questions. Preliminary validity analysis yielded significant results with regards to education and scores on the Involvement subscale. Based on the limitations of the study, it was recommended that further research focus on examining the validity of the MOM. The use of factor analysis and replication studies was also recommended. This study suggests that further development of the MOM can result in both a valuable diagnostic tool for clinicians as well as a useful research instrument.