Validation of a measure of parental readiness for treatment in a clinical sample of children with disruptive behavior.


This study validated the factor structure of the Parent Readiness for Change Scale (PRFCS) using a clinical sample of parents presenting for assessment and treatment because of their children’s disruptive behaviors to an urban children’s mental health program in Canada. Parents or guardians of 138 children (21.7 % female) aged six to twelve completed the PRFCS as part of their clinical assessment. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to identify the factor structure of the PRFCS and its potential utility in this clinical population. Construct validity was tested by examining parental readiness in relation to children’s internalizing/externalizing problems, parenting behavior, and treatment participation. The original factor structure was replicated, suggesting three factors: Precontemplation, Contemplation, and Action. A second-order factor reflecting overall Readiness was observed that encompassed all three of these factors. A truncated version of the scale that included only a subset of items was determined to offer the best fit to data. Parents reporting higher levels of readiness had children with more emotional/behavior problems, reported higher levels of inconsistent discipline, and missed fewer treatment sessions. The PRFCS appears to be applicable to a clinical sample of children with disruptive behavior problems, and is associated with meaningful child- and parent-level constructs that are relevant in the context of clinical service delivery. Further research to develop clinical cut-offs may be useful in order for this promising theoretically-grounded measure to be effectively used as a screening tool to assist with treatment selection.