Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jody Nicholson

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Fuglestad

Rights Statement

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick


Indoor environmental contaminants (ECs) such as lead, mold, mercury, radon, and bisphenol A (BPA) are prevalent in American homes and have dire consequences to children’s development, especially for children under six. To optimize the efficacy of programs aiming to prevent exposure to ECs, it is necessary to investigate parental factors that influence behavioral change. Parental self-efficacy is one such psychological construct which could help explain why and for whom an intervention is effective. The current study presents a measure developed to assess parental self-efficacy for preventing children from being exposed to ECs, the Parental Self-efficacy for Contaminant Exposure Prevention (PS-CEP). The current study aimed to (1) evaluate the factor structure of the developed measure, (2) evaluate the construct validity and (3) examine various characteristics of respondents based on their demonstrated level of self-efficacy. The PS-CEP was administered to 206 parents of children attending a local Head Start and a national sample of 377 parents of children under six drawn from an on-line polling website. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted, convergent and discriminant validity of the PS-CEP was assessed using existing measures, and demographic characteristics as well as parenting styles were examined. Based on model fit indices in the exploratory factor analysis, a four-factor model was the best fit (TLI = .90; RMSEA = .071). Three of the four factors of the PS-CEP demonstrated good validity. Additionally, the PS-CEP differentiated between levels of education, marital status, gender, and ethnicity. Finally, authoritative parenting style was found to correlate with three of the four factors. A measure of this type will allow interventions to be tailored based on parents’ self-efficacy to more appropriately support them in taking steps to create healthier environments for their children.