Degree Name

PHD, Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Department of Family and Child Sciences

Advisory Committee

Kay Pasley


July 2013


This study developed and tested a new measure to assess the three dimensions of maternal gatekeeping as outlined by Puhlman and Pasley (2013) to determine the validity and reliability of the measure. Using data from a survey of 460 mothers and fathers of children ages 3-6 enrolled in preschools in Leon County, Florida, findings resulted in a measure that captured the three dimensions. Face validity was established by soliciting support from national experts and parents to assess whether the items reflected their expected dimensions. Then a three-factor solution resulted in separate models for mothers and fathers reflecting the intended dimensions. Correlations between the subscales and those of an established gatekeeping measure and a coparenting measure were examined to establish construct validity. Finally, criterion validity was established through cluster analysis where two groups of gatekeepers were identified representing the proposed two major categories of gatekeepers, and differences in scores on father involvement were examined. As expected, those classified as Polarized gatekeepers, specifically Passive Gatewelcomers, reported significantly higher levels in the quality of father involvement for mothers and father reports and higher frequency of father involvement for mother reports.