Separation anxiety as an experience of parents of adolescents remains underinvestigated. The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to assess parental separation anxiety of mothers and fathers of adolescent sons and daughters, that is, the Parental Separation Anxiety Scale (PSAS). The Maternal Separation Anxiety Scale was adapted to address this purpose. Three studies were conducted to assess item performance, internal consistency and test-retest reliability, and construct and predictive validity. Internal consistency reliability ranged from 0.91 to 0.93 across samples. Factor analysis indicated four factors with a primary factor (70% of variance) that was consistent with attachment theory. Parental separation anxiety was negatively associated with global relationship quality (r = - 0.23, p = .01). Maternal separation anxiety was negatively associated with cognitive autonomy of sons (r = - 0.34, p = .05), while paternal separation anxiety was positively associated with cognitive autonomy of daughters (r = 0.20, p = .05). It was concluded that the final 18-item PSAS has good psychometric qualities and is appropriate for use with parents of chronically ill and healthy adolescents.
- Separation anxiety
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