Child maltreatment is a significant global problem concerning over 25% of children around the world. Traditionally, the assessment of children’s welfare was characterized by the creation of instruments and models from the deficit-based theoretical framework.
This study aims to develop an instrument to measure protective factors (the Adolescent and Children Risk of Abuse and Maltreatment Protective Factors Scale, ACRAM-PFS) and gather evidence on its psychometric properties. ACRAM-PFS is an 18-items scale for the assessment of protective factors of child maltreatment developed from the socioecological framework.
Structural validity, reliability and convergent-related validity were studied for this measure in a sample of 616 children and adolescents, with age ranging from 0 to 18 years old (M = 12.14; SD = 5.22). Cases were informed by 286 child welfare workers. The sample was split in two subsamples, one to perform an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and the second to perform a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA).
The CFA corroborate the three-factor structure that includes the children and adolescents’ resources, the family/caregiver’s resources and the community resources (χ2 = 278.005, df = 132, p < .001, CFI = 0.955, SRMR = .084, RMSEA = .061, [90% CI: .051-.071]). Results of convergent-related validity indicated significant correlation with CTQ-SF and protective factors dimension of C-CAPS.
The results support that ACRAM-PFS is a rigorous measure for assessing protective factors for child maltreatment. The scale can serve as a key tool for designing strengths-based intervention strategies tailored to the actual needs of children and adolescents. The present study provides the implications for the development of protective factor scales in the field of child welfare.