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Using the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scale (IFIRS) To Code Family Interactions. Sara Neeves* and Cheryl Buehler, Ph.D. Department of Human Development and Family Studies The University of North Carolina at Greensboro *This research was supported by UNCG Office of Research.

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using the iowa family interaction rating scale ifirs to code family interactions

Using the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scale (IFIRS) To Code Family Interactions

Sara Neeves* and Cheryl Buehler, Ph.D.

Department of Human Development and Family Studies

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

*This research was

supported by UNCG Office of Research

undergraduate research assistantship goals
Undergraduate Research Assistantship Goals
  • To better understand advanced research in a university setting, under the leadership of an established faculty member
  • To better understand interrater reliability
  • To gain experience with observational research methods
theoretical foundation of the ifirs
Theoretical Foundation Of The IFIRS
  • Based on three theories:
    • Social Interactional Theory
    • Behavioral Theory
    • Social Contextual Theory
what is the ifirs
What Is The IFIRS?
  • Developed at Iowa State University’s Institute for Social and Behavioral Research by Melby, Conger et al.
  • Global coding system that uses a set of 40 scales

(see Table 1) to measure emotional and behavioral traits of individuals

  • Measures expressed emotions and behaviors on individual, dyadic, and group levels
what is the ifirs cont d
What Is The IFIRS? (cont’d)
  • Expressed emotions and behaviors assessed are considered to be stable and ongoing
  • Behaviors and expressed emotions are rated on a scale of 1 to 9, with some rated on a scale on 1-5
  • The IFIRS has been adapted by other researchers to study various issues (e.g., economic stress, marital instability, adoptive parenting, sibling relationships)
scales used in the ifirs
Scales Used In The IFIRS
  • Individual Characteristic Scales
    • General mood or state of being of a person regardless of with whom that person is interacting in the task
  • Dyadic Interaction Scales
    • Assesses the behavior directed by one person toward another person in an interaction context
  • Dyadic Relationship Scales
    • Assesses the relationship between two interactors. Assesses the characteristics of a dyad’s relationship rather than behaviors of individuals
  • Parenting Scales
    • Assesses parenting behaviors
tasks assessed using the ifirs
Tasks Assessed Using The IFIRS
  • Behaviors and expressed emotions are assessed during discussion and problem-solving tasks
  • Four tasks are completed by each family (mother, father, youth)
    • Task 1: Parent and youth (discussion, 15 minutes)
    • Task 2: Parent and youth (discussion, 15 minutes)
    • Task 3: Both parents and youth (problem-solving, 20 minutes)
    • Task 4: Both parents (marital discussion, 20 minutes)
my experience with the ifirs
My Experience With The IFIRS
  • The Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) provided me the opportunity to be trained to use the IFIRS for observational coding
  • Training consisted of:
    • 240 hours of video-based training
    • Memorization of 150 page coding manual
    • Three paper tests (passing criteria > 90%)
    • Final coding test (passing criteria > 80%)
  • Following a passing grade on the final coding test, I became a regular coder on the research team for my faculty advisor, Dr. Cheryl Buehler
  • Criterion testing occurs approximately every other month for duration of my time on the research team
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Through my experience with the Undergraduate Research Assistantship program I was able to better understand observational research methods
  • I completed training for the IFIRS and participated in coding observational data
  • I learned about interrater reliability and participated in reliability coding sessions
  • Because of my experience as an URA I was able to join the research team for Dr. Cheryl Buehler
references
References

Information about the IFIRS taken from:

Melby, J., & Conger, R. (2001). The Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scales: Instrument summary. In P.K. Kerig & K.M. Lindahl (Eds.), Family observational coding systems: Resources for systemic research (pp. 33-58). Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.