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Awarded New Investigator/Doctoral Dissertation Grant

Concept Mapping: An Innovative Method to Measure Supervision

FOA Number: CE04-049 - Grants for Dissertation Awards for Doctoral Candidates for Violence-Related and Unintentional Injury
Project Period: 8/01/04–7/31/05
Application/Grant Number: 1-R49-CE000321-01
Principal Investigator: Karen Ann McDonnell, PhD
The George Washington University
School of Public Health and Health Services
Maternal and Child Health Program
2175 K Street, NW, Room 719
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-467-2282
Fax: 202-416-0433


Unintentional injuries are the leading causes of mortality among children under age 5 in the United States. There is a dearth of information regarding the conceptualization of child supervision, which is particularly important for young children whose protection often depends on the actions of their caregivers. Determining the role supervision plays in preventing injuries is precluded by methodological challenges in developing appropriate, responsive, and reliable measures of supervision. Measures of supervision that are derived from child caregivers themselves are needed because the concept and the actions that define it may differ among different population groups, by styles of parenting, and for different injury mechanisms. Concept mapping, the method of investigation used in this study, is an innovative technique to address this need in injury prevention. Concept mapping is an inductive, structured qualitative/ quantitative methodology that will be used to explore how caregivers of children under age 5 conceptualize and operationalize child supervision.

As a first step in addressing the role of child supervision, this study will use the concept mapping process of brainstorming groups, sorting and rating groups, and discussion/interpretation groups to conceptualize child supervision's role in injury prevention. Concept mapping techniques will allow researchers to explore sociodemographic and parenting style variations in the identification of behaviors that are central to child supervision, examine conceptualizations of child supervision with regard to injury mechanisms, and identify child supervisory styles and processes that are perceived to be amendable to change.