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Development and Validation of the Prevention of Toxic Chemicals in the Environment for Children Tool

Full Title: Development and Validation of the Prevention of Toxic Chemicals in the Environment for Children Tool: A Questionnaire for Examining the Community's Knowledge of and Preferences Toward Toxic Chemicals and Children's Brain Development


Green R, Lanphear B, Phipps E, Goodman C, Joy J, Rihani S, Flora D, Till C


Frontiers in Public Health


Abstract

Early-life exposures to toxic chemicals can adversely impact brain development. Understanding people's knowledge of the impact of toxic chemicals on brain development is critical to reduce widespread exposure to chemicals. Yet it is unknown what people know about risks of toxic chemicals and how to reduce exposures. We developed and validated the questionnaire, PRevention of Toxic chemicals in the Environment for Children Tool (PRoTECT), to examine people's knowledge and attitudes about the influence of toxic chemicals on child development. We used best practices for developing and validating scales. First, we drafted items to assess knowledge of the impact of toxic chemicals on brain development, levels of concern regarding exposures, and preferences for prevention of neurodevelopmental disorders. Second, we received feedback on item clarity from five focus groups consisting of 46 community participants. In addition, 17 experts completed a content validity scale for each item and provided qualitative feedback. We administered the revised 18-item questionnaire to 190 participants of child-bearing age for scale development, and using exploratory factor analysis, we found evidence for a four-factor model of PRoTECT, RMSR = 0.05, of which 16 of the 18 items had adequate content validity with loadings >0.40 on a derived factor. We discuss future directions and applications of PRoTECT.



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