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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325

Salud Ment vol.30 no.2 México mar./abr. 2007

 

Artículos originales

Datos psicométricos del EMBU-I “Mis memorias de crianza” como indicador de la percepción de crianza en una muestra de adolescentes de la Ciudad de México

María Elena Márquez-Caraveo* 

Laura Hernández-Guzmán** 

Javier Aguilar Villalobos** 

Verónica Pérez-Barrón* 

Marina Reyes-Sandoval* 

*Hospital Psiquiátrico Infantil Dr. Juan N. Navarro. Calz. San Buenaventura 86. Col. Belisario Domínguez, 14080, México, D.F.

**Facultad de Psicología. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

RESUMEN

Introducción:

La crianza se define como la responsabilidad asumida por los padres respecto al crecimiento físico y desarrollo emocional y social de un hijo. Existen datos científicos sólidos que sugieren que los ambientes de crianza ejercen efectos importantes sobre una variedad de desenlaces, que incluyen desde variaciones en el contexto del funcionamiento adaptativo, el desarrollo psicológico saludable y el éxito en la escuela, hasta desenlaces psicopatológicos como el uso y abuso de drogas, el comportamiento agresivo y problemas de ansiedad en niños y adolescentes. La adolescencia implica la transformación de las relaciones padre-hijo que caracterizaron a la niñez. Es por ello que la adolescencia, como transición crítica que entraña demandas sociales emergentes, es de por sí un periodo del ciclo vital de especial vulnerabilidad. Aunado a estos cambios, durante la adolescencia el desajuste psicológico constituye una amenaza seria a la salud psicológica de la persona a mediano y largo plazos. Se sugiere que el conflicto, la falta de cohesión, la distancia emocional y el rechazo se relacionan con el uso y abuso de alcohol y drogas y conductas de riesgo tales como violencia y embarazo temprano en los adolescentes. De ahí la necesidad de contar con instrumentos que midan la percepción adolescente de la crianza que predice mejor el funcionamiento ulterior. El EMBU-I es un instrumento desarrollado inicialmente en Europa, adaptado y evaluado psicométricamente en más de 25 países, cuya validez, confiabilidad y ventaja transcultural se han establecido plenamente. La crítica respecto a que informa retrospectivamente de la crianza en los adultos ha sido subsanada por las investigaciones que evalúan la percepción actual en sujetos jóvenes, niños y adolescentes. Por todas las razones mencionadas, el propósito de este estudio fue aportar datos de este instrumento respecto a la consistencia interna y congruencia de sus dimensiones, así como de la validez de tipo convergente y divergente de sus escalas (dado que el instrumento tiene escalas que miden cosas distintas), para lo cual se utilizaron las escalas del FES (Family Environment Scale) que resultaron con coeficientes alfa de Cronbach superiores a .50, como la cohesión, la organización y el conflicto, así como el Cuestionario de Interés de los Padres en los Estudios.

Método:

En el estudio participaron 775 estudiantes de secundaria. Los instrumentos utilizados fueron el EMBU-I, las escalas de cohesión, organización y conflicto y de interés parental en los estudios.

Resultados:

Los resultados confirmaron valores alfa de Cronbach superiores a .65 para tres de las escalas (calidez, rechazo y control) con excepción de la de favoritismo, en congruencia con lo reportado en otras investigaciones. De este modo se obtuvieron altas correlaciones entre las escalas de padre y madre en cada dimensión, lo que sugiere que los perfiles emocionales de ambos padres son similares. Como se esperaría, se observaron correlaciones negativas entre la calidez y el rechazo en ambos padres. Cabe destacar que en el caso del padre el control se correlaciona con la calidez, en tanto que en el caso de la madre se percibe una carga mayor de rechazo que de calidez. Estos resultados coinciden con lo reportado en la bibliografía respecto a la percepción del padre con un mayor grado de deferencia que la madre. La correlación de calidez en ambos padres con cohesión y organización familiar apoya la validez convergente y en el mismo sentido se observa la correlación entre conflicto y rechazo. En apoyo a la validación divergente y en congruencia con los datos de la validación convergente, se observaron las correlaciones negativas entre rechazo en ambos padres y las escalas de cohesión y organización, así como las correlaciones de calidez (para padre y madre) con conflicto. En síntesis, este estudio aportó datos respecto a la consistencia interna y la congruencia de las dimensiones de calidez, rechazo y control del EMBU-I. La validez convergente se propuso a partir de las correlaciones positivas de calidez con cohesión, organización e interés de los padres, y de rechazo con conflicto. Las correlaciones negativas de calidez con conflicto y de rechazo con cohesión, organización e interés de los padres apoyaron su validez divergente.

Palabras clave: Crianza; percepción adolescente; EMBU-I; validez; confiabilidad

SUMMARY

Introduction:

Childrearing or parenting is the assumption of responsibility for the emotional, social and physical growth and development of a child. Research literature has identified three related components commonly associated to rearing or parenting: a) spontaneous emotions and attitudes that are non-goal directed parental behaviors such as gestures, changes in the tone of voice, temperamental bursts, body language; b) specific goal-directed parental practices, which are better understood in the context of a socialization domain (academic achievement, peer cooperation), and c) the value system and beliefs of parents related to socialization goals of their children.

Based on sound empirical data, there is no doubt about the impact of child-rearing environments on a wide variety of outcomes, ranging from normal variations of adaptive functioning and school success to an array of psychopathological results such as drug abuse, aggressive behavior, and anxiety in children and adolescents.

During adolescence, parenting implies the transformation of the relationships between parents and children. This is a critical transition period in which the emerging social demands turn it into a particularly vulnerable period of life. Psychological distress that arises in adolescents may threaten their mental health on a medium and long term-basis.

Based on an exhaustive literature study related to the parentchild relationship and the shared family environment, Repetti et al. suggest that conflict, lack of cohesion and organization, as well as unsupportive, cold and neglectful environments, were characteristic of families in risk of developing physical and mental problems. Adolescent studies provided evidence related to alcohol and drugs abuse, involvement in pregnancy, aggressive behaviour and delinquency as outcomes for children from families lacking cohesion and orderliness, as well as emotional warmth, support and involvement in parenting.

Thus, it is important to rely on instruments that measure parenting and whose dimensions have proven to be relevant to the outcomes evaluated. One empirically evaluated instrument, in terms of internal consistency, construct validity, and convergent and divergent validity in transcultural context, is the Egna Minnen Betraffande Uppfostran-My memories of upbringing (EMBU). It has been extensively used and adapted in more than 25 countries, including Spanish-speaking populations from Guatemala, Venezuela and Spain. Factor analyses have revealed four factors (emotional warmth, rejection, control/overprotection and favouring subject), and multiple studies have documented the validity, reliability and cross-national transferability of the EMBU. Criticism regarding the retrospective nature of the EMBU has been overcome by designs with younger samples confirming its cross-stability for all scales except favouritism scale.

There is a lack of instruments measuring parenting in Spanishspeaking countries. It is imperative to evaluate parental perceptions with adolescents as the source of information. There is, therefore, a need to empirically evaluate a reliable and valid parenting measurement, whose relational nature dimensions (warmth/rejection, control) can also be compared with those found in other countries.

The purpose of the present study was to explore the psychometric properties of the EMBU-I in a sample of Mexican adolescents. In particular, its aim was to test the reliability (internal consistency), the congruency of the dimensions for fathers and mothers and within the scales comprising the EMBU, and its convergent and divergent validity.

Method:

Seven hundred seventy five adolescents, with a mean age of 13.81 years, from two secondary schools, one public and one private, participated in the study.

Instruments:

EMBU-C, parental involvement in studies scale, and the cohesion, conflict and organization scales from the FES. All of them showed reliability values above .50.

Results:

Emotional warmth, rejection, and control showed evidence of good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alphas above or equal .65), except favoritism, in agreement with previous studies. Correlation between both scales, for father and mother (emotional warmth, rejection and control) was positive and high. Negative correlations were found between emotional warmth and rejection, as expect. Interestingly, perception of father control positively correlated with warmth, whereas perception of mother control was higher loaded on rejection than in warmth.

The multiple correlation analysis of each scale of the EMBU and the other instruments were as follows: warmth in both parents correlated positively with organization and cohesion in family and rejection, again in both parents, also correlated with conflict.

Warmth and control for father, as well as for mother, correlated with parental involvement in studies, but stronger correlations were documented in the case of perception of father’s involvement. For mothers, cohesion and organization showed a tendency to correlate higher with involvement in studies.

Results support the convergent validity of the scales. Evidence for the divergent validation was provided through the negative correlations found between warmth and conflict. This was also true for cohesion and organization, with regard to rejection. As expected, rejection also showed a negative correlation with parental involvement in studies.

In agreement with other studies, the present study corroborates internal consistency in Mexican adolescents, as well as convergent and divergent validity of the EMBU-C scales of emotional warmth, rejection and control. A finding of this study was the different correlation tendency found between the dimension of control for fathers and mothers, suggesting that control in fathers is perceived more as warmth than rejection, in contrast to other studies.

Also warmth and control, again in the fathers’ case, correlated higher with involvement in studies. This finding is in agreement with Youniss and Smollar, whose findings suggest a differential perception of fathers and mothers, especially in early adolescence. Mexican boys and girls tend to perceive fathers with more deference and as advisors or instructors.

Although the risky families’ construct has a wider perspective, it is also important to evaluate separately the family unit with regard to the adolescent-parent relationship because intervention strategies are different.

According to adolescent perception, parenting dimensions related to emotional climate are notably related to other parental components, such as parental involvement in school or family cohesion and organization.

Psychometric properties of EMBU-C were acceptable in terms of reliability and validity. It proved to be a useful tool for future studies, purported to evaluate adolescent perception of parental childrearing. Future studies should provide further data on test-retest reliability, confirmatory factor analyses testing the three factor resolution found in previous studies and on its convergent validity.

Limitations of the present study arise from the sample of students and its socioeconomic or demographic restrictions. Future studies could overcome the fact that data come only from one source, i.e., children. Concurrent validity comparing EMBU-C with other parenting indicators is also needed.

Key words: Child-rearing; adolescent perception; EMBU-C; reliability; validity

Texto completo disponible sólo en PDF.

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