Measuring caregiver identity: scale development and validation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elise K. Eifert (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
James Eddy

Abstract: A small body of research suggests that caregiver identity is an important construct that influences family caregiver behavior, especially their use of support services. The measurement of caregiver identity has been limited to a dichotomous construct- are you a caregiver, yes or no- rather than treated as a multidimensional construct with a number of different dimensions. A global measure of caregiver identity is needed to advance research and practice in the area of family caregiving. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate the Family Caregiver Identity Scale (FCIS), an instrument designed to measure an individuals' role identity as a family caregiver. The study aims were to 1) identify the factors that influence caregiver identity development; 2) create a pool of items that can measure the theoretical domains of caregiver identity development; and 3) pretest these items, resulting in a valid and internally-consistent instrument that measures caregiver identity. To develop the Family Caregiver Identity Scale, the process of instrument development outlined in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing was combined with Dillman's four stages of pretesting. This was a multi-stage, iterative process, including several revisions based on feedback from experts, focus groups, and pilot testing. Confirmatory factor analyses were performed to test the hypothesized model of caregiver identity development. The results of the study suggest five factors influence family caregiver identity development- role engulfment and reversal; loss of shared identity; family obligation and gender norming; extension of the former role; and development of a master identity. A final FCIS consisting of 18 items resulted and demonstrated initial evidence of validity. Future confirmatory factory analysis will need to be performed to complete validity testing. This study contributes to the growing body of research involving caregiver identity.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Caregiver identity, Family caregiver, Family caregiver identity scale, Health education
Caregivers $x Psychology

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