TKR. PARENTAL COMPETENCES TEST

Authors:
Anna Matczak, Aleksandra Jaworowska
Age:
Adults
Procedure:
Group or individual administration; no time limit; approx. 25 min.
Test category:
B2 – for psychologists; other professionals only after general psychometric training and test training

Description: The test is designed to assess parental competences conceived as parents' dispositions which allow them to cope with children in the ways conducive the latters' development in terms of autonomy, self-regulatory skills and the sense of effectiveness. It can be used to examine both actual and potential parents.

The tool consists of 30 tasks in the form of short stories presenting various parent-child situations. Most of them are problematic involving the child's troubles, his/her improper behaviour or demands which are impossible to satisfy but some present positive events, for example the child's successes. The stories feature children of diverse ages and refer to diverse activities (learning, home chores, contacts with peers, entertainment). The parent behaviours involved are different in terms of actual control over the child, rigidity of the requirement system and emotional comittment.

To each situation three types of parental behaviour are ascribed and the respondent should assess the probability of his/her choosing a given behaviour, using the scale of 1 through 4 (from definitely  no, through rather no and rather yes to definitely yes). Apart from the comptence scale the tool also includes four complementary scales which allow to measure the parent's inclinations to making mistakes, rigidity, permissiveness, overcaring and helplessness.

Reliability: The most reliable among the TKR scores – both in terms of internal consistency and stability – are those on the Competences scale. The stability and internal consistency of scores on the Rigidity and Overcare scales are fully satisfactory. Only the homogeneity of the Helplessness scale may rise some doubts.

Validity: Analyses conducted brought evidence for the TKR validity.

Norms: The test has two sets of s-ten norms – one for the general population (based on scores of the sample of 700 respondents aged 20-59 and tested in a neutral situation), and the other for foster parents or candidates for adoptive and foster parents (based on scores of the sample of 350 respondents tested in diagnostic situations in adoption and family-aid centres).

Applicability: The TKR is designed to assess parental competences of adult persons and their  personal tendencies to make four kinds of errors. The test-takers can be both actual parents and persons who do not have children.

The TKR can be useful when the psychologist's help is recommended because of educational problems the child causes at home or at school. One of the source of those problems can be his/her parents' incompetent behaviour. The TKR allows to verify the hipothesis that the mother's or father's level of competence is unsatisfactory and, moreover, it helps to define which negative tendencies surfacing in their behaviours when coping with the child are responsible for the child's problems.

The analysis of scores on the scales referring to parental errors can also be a good starting point for planning therapeutic intervention for parents. The TKR scores can also help those among parents who want to improve their competences to identify their strengths and weaknesses disclosing typical errors they are prone to.

TKR can also be used in examining childless persons – both future parents who want to develop their competences and candidates for foster or adoptive parents.                                             

Adoption

Candidates for adoptive parents usually go through a long recruitment procedure a part of which is the assessment of their dispositions to be good nurturers or educators. Dispositions are not only appropriate personality features but also certain competences shown when coping with a child.
In the assessment of candidates for adoptive and foster parents the parallel use of two methods, CUIDA and TKR, shoud be advised. Together they can provide a better and more comprehensive picture of parenthood dispositions.  The CUIDA enables to assess those of personality features which are important from the point view of a proper child-care, whereas the TKR provides information about parental competences, that is parents' knowledge and their beliefs about their own skills connected to children upbringing. The CUIDA scores can also be useful when those on the TKR are interpreted, esp. when they refer to parental errors. For example a high score on the TKR Overcare scale in a person who has low skills in coping with a loss assessed on the CUIDA – this proves his/her emotional dependence on others – can be interpreted as a symptom of worrying about the child and an inclination to control the child in order to keep him/her safe.

Materials:

  • Full package (manual, score sheets, test sheets)
  • Manual
  • Test sheets (25 cop.)
  • Score sheets (25 cop.)
Please note: All of our tests are published in Polish. There are not available other language versions of our tools.

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