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family, grandparents, psychometric testing



  1. Rempusheski, Veronica F.
  2. O'Hara, Catherine T.


Background: For the majority of grandparents, rarely are their perceptions of family assessed, acknowledged, or viewed in the context of potential effect on individual and family health.


Objective: To develop and test an instrument to measure grandparent perceptions of family.


Method: An inductively derived semantic differential instrument comprising 112 items, 8 stimuli, and 27 adjective pairs within 2 domains and framed by the Becoming a Grandparent theoretical model was content validated by an expert panel, revised, and evaluated on a convenience sample of 306 community-dwelling grandparents, aged 41-92 years (M = 64, SD = 9.8), 72% female, 93% U.S. born, 62% college educated, 55% economically comfortable, and 71% living with a spouse or partner. Assessment procedures included internal consistency reliability, item and scale correlation coefficients, and principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation to evaluate construct validity, structure, and magnitude of the scale.


Results: The final scale consists of 25 items using 3 stimuli (grandparent's view of grandchild, mother of grandchild, father of grandchild) measuring a single domain (overall view of family). The Grandparent Perceptions of Family Scale (GPFS) includes 5 factors for a total explained variance of 60%. Coefficient [alpha] for the total scale is .90.


Discussion: The GPFS should be helpful to clinicians and researchers in their assessment of grandparents within multigenerational families and in planning appropriate interventions to address the roles and relationships of grandparents within families. Further GPFS evaluation is suggested with grandparents of diverse racial or ethnic identification; social economic position; education; and family definition, roles, composition, and structure.