Development and validation of the Multidimensional Paternal Perinatal Scale (MPPS)

Daisy Gemayel

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Today, there have been limited screening tools for assessing fathers’ emotional well-being during the perinatal period. The theoretical framework of the existing measurements did not specifically focus on fathers’ perinatal experiences. Therefore, these tools may not be the most appropriate scale for assessing emotional well-being of fathers in a perinatal context.
This dissertation aimed to develop and validate a new measure named the Multidimensional Paternal Perinatal Scale (MPPS). The MPPS helps to identify fathers at risk of poor emotional well-being. The MPPS consists of two versions; the antenatal version and the postnatal version.
The MPPS was developed based on a comprehensive literature review and semi-structured interviews with antenatal and postnatal fathers. A mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to evaluate the content validity and the inter-rater reliability of the MPPS. Principal component analysis was used to reduce the item pool, and Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling helped to identify the underlying structure and dimensions of the MPPS. The MPPS construct for each version was evaluated as a second-higher order construct using Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modelling. The internal consistency and the composite reliability of the MPPS were evaluated. The discriminant validity of the MPPS was evaluated using a discriminant measure. The concurrent validity of the MPPS was established through the examination of the MPPS’s predictive ability through group differentiation (i.e., depressed versus non-depressed fathers, anxious versus non-anxious fathers, and stressed versus non-stressed fathers). Finally, the optimal cutoff scores for each version of the MPPS were identified using Receiver Operating Characteristic Analysis.
The final antenatal version of the MPPS contains 19 items and the postnatal version includes 28 items. The internal construct validity, discriminant validity, and concurrent validity of the ANT-MPPS and POST-MPPS were established. Both versions of the MPPS can identify fathers at risk of poor emotional well-being during the antenatal and postnatal periods. The proposed cutoff score for the ANT-MPPS is 23.5 for depression, 41.5 for anxiety and 38.5 for stress. As for the POST-MPPS, a cutoff score of 64.5 is recommended for depression, and a 65.5 cutoff score for anxiety and stress. Both versions demonstrated excellent reliability (i.e. Antenatal composite reliability =.91, postnatal composite reliability=.95)
This dissertation demonstrates that the MPPS is a valid and reliable screening tool for assessing perinatal fathers’ emotional well-being. The MPPS is a considerable addition to the paternal perinatal literature, and it has a clinical and research utility. That is clinicians applying this tool cannot only identify fathers at risk of developing emotional problems but also have information to specifically target factors impacting fathers’ emotional well-being during therapeutic intervention. Researchers are encouraged to replicate reliability and validity of the scale across different groups of fathers.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Wiener, Karl, Principal Supervisor
  • Saliba, Anthony, Co-Supervisor
Award date31 Mar 2020
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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