Title page for ETD etd-07052011-175139

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Gordon, Arlene Tayag
Author's Email Address agord11@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-07052011-175139
Title Assessing Social Support in Children: Development and Initial Validation of the Social Support Questionnaire for Children
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kelley, Mary Lou Committee Chair
Cohen, Alex S. Committee Member
Elliott, Emily M. Committee Member
Gouvier, William Drew Committee Member
Donze, David Dean's Representative
  • social support
  • children
  • measure development
Date of Defense 2011-06-06
Availability unrestricted
Research examining risk and protective factors associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in children has established social support as one of the strongest predictors of psychological health and overall adjustment post-traumatic event (Vigil & Geary, 2008). Greater perceived social support, generally, has been related to more positive outcomes in children (Borja & Callahan, 2008; Cryder, Kilmer, Tedeschi, & Calhoun, 2006; Pina, Villalta, Ortiz, Gottschall, Costa, & Weems, 2008). Understanding the impact of social support on coping with traumatic events such as natural disasters or exposure to community violence is limited by the lack of psychometrically sound measures. The current study addresses this limitation. The Social Support Questionnaire for Children (SSQC) is a 50 item self-report measure designed to examine children’s social support via five sources: Parents, relatives, non-relative adults, siblings, and peers. Analyses revealed that the SSQC has high internal consistency for the 50-items and all subscales. In addition, the SSQC was shown to have good factorial and construct validity; confirmatory factor analysis found that the proposed five factor model exhibited an adequate fit and accounted for a large portion of the variance in the sample. Concurrent and convergent validity were also examined; as displayed in the literature, social support as assessed by the SSQC was positively correlated with children’s overall adjustment and positive coping behaviors and inversely correlated with PTSD symptom level and negative coping behaviors in a sample of children exposed to Hurricane Katrina. A moderate correlation was found when assessing the scale’s convergent validity, which is a likely attributable to structural differences of the SSQC versus the measure of comparison. Overall, the SSQC appears to be a psychometrically sound measure of children’s social support.
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