A practice-based ecometric model to assess temperament and preference functions that assist in enhancing parent-child interaction
Jansen van Rensburg, Beatrix Elizabeth
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This study promotes the notion that it is important for the family to be treated as a unit. It highlights the importance of parents understanding and respecting their children as unique human beings instead of regarding them as „carbon copies‟ of themselves. The study further stresses the importance of parents being included as important variables within the therapeutic process with a child. For parents to understand and recognise their child‟s needs, knowledge of the child‟s temperament is required. Knowledge of the nature of temperament leads to parents having a better understanding of their children‟s behaviour and consequently fewer frustrations within the parent-child interaction arise. The study aimed to utilise a practice-based ecometric model to assess temperament and preference functions that assist in enhancing the parent-child interaction. In order to address the aim of study, the practice-based ecometric model needed to include a temperament sorter as a tool to obtain information regarding temperament and preference functions. However, in practice there is no instrument/tool or temperament sorter to determine temperament and preference functions in children that may be used by professionals, such as social workers, who are not trained as psychologists. The design and development (D&D) model was considered an appropriate design for this study because it lends itself to the use of a multi-phase research approach. During Phase 1 the research problem was analysed and the project was planned accordingly. A literature study was undertaken during Phase 2 to explore and describe the different components required within a practice-based ecometric model that assesses temperament and preference functions, as well as the different dimensions required within the temperament sorter. Phase 2 was concluded after the researcher explored how the ecometric perspective could contribute to the development of an ecometric temperament sorter. Phase 3, Step 1 and Phase 4, Steps 1-3 involved a quantitative process where item analysis of the prototype was explored with the assistance of a panel of experts and designed using the Delphi method. The prototype temperament sorter was pilot tested for reliability using equivalent or parallel form reliability. To assess if the designed temperament sorter, when used within the practice-based ecometric model, assisted in enhancing the parent-child interaction, the one-group pre-test post-test design was followed during Phase 5, Steps 1-2. Qualitative data were obtained from parents through pre-test semi-structured interviews. Through the completion of the designed temperament sorter, quantitative data were obtained regarding the temperament and preference functions of participating children. During a feedback session, each child‟s temperament and preference functions were qualitatively explained to parents. In order to give the parents ample time to rethink and familiarise themselves practically with the given information, post-test semi-structured interviews with the parents were held four weeks later. The aim was to assess the extent to which the designed temperament sorter contributed to strengthen the parent-child interaction. The designed product successfully assisted in addressing the aim of the study. All the research questions were successfully answered. Dissemination and marketing of a practice-based ecometric model and designed temperament sorter will take place after completion of the research project.
- Humanities