Journal of Pediatric Psychology
Objective To examine reliability and validity data for the Family Interaction Macro-coding System (FIMS) with adolescents with spina bifida (SB), adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), and healthy adolescents and their families. Methods Sixty-eight families of children with SB, 58 families of adolescents with T1DM, and 68 families in a healthy comparison group completed family interaction tasks and self-report questionnaires. Trained coders rated family interactions using the FIMS. Results Acceptable interrater and scale reliabilities were obtained for FIMS items and subscales. Observed FIMS parental acceptance, parental behavioral control, parental psychological control, family cohesion, and family conflict scores demonstrated convergent validity with conceptually similar self-report measures. Conclusions Preliminary evidence supports the use of the FIMS with families of youths with SB and T1DM and healthy youths. Future research on overall family functioning may be enhanced by use of the FIMS.