Measurement of interpersonal cognitive complexity as a tool for discerning between exemplary and adequate caregiver quality
This study tests the usefulness of a measurement of interpersonal cognitive complexity, the Role Category Questionnaire (RCQ, Crockett, 1965), for differentiating between home health aides who demonstrate exemplary versus marginal interpersonally-oriented caregiving skills with elderly and disabled individuals living independently at home. It also advances the literature by exploring whether interpersonal cognitive complexity is related to caregiver skill differences, as opposed simply to communication skills. This research is built upon the interest of an international home health care referral organization in using this instrument in employment screening practices. Furthermore, it is an outgrowth of earlier work with students undergoing nurse aide training, in which this instrument was used to measure estimates of the complexity of students’ interpersonal perceptions of others (Grosch, Medvene, & Wolcott, 2008; Medvene, Grosch, & Swink, 2006). Working with Griswold Special Care staff, caregivers were screened to create exceptional (Category A) versus marginal (Category B) skill categories. Hypothesized was that RCQ measures of interpersonal cognitive complexity among exceptional caregivers would be higher than those of caregivers least recognized by supervisors for care quality. An RCQ-based measure of interpersonal cognitive complexity was taken of 117 caregivers and compared with their categorization to demonstrate a significant relationship between RCQ scores and person centeredness. For non-native English speakers, the hypothesis did not hold true; however, RCQ scores for each category were in the expected direction, and the subsample size was small. A logistic regression model was significant; 65.5% of caregivers were correctly identified in Category B, whereas 61% were correctly placed in Category A. This research adds support for a relationship between RCQ-based measures of interpersonal cognitive complexity and measures of person-centered care among home health care providers. It additionally expands the use of this instrument to non-native English speakers, and it demonstrates that the RCQ can differentiate between exceptional versus marginal caregivers, although there are likely other influences not captured in the predictive model. This study suggests that the RCQ may be used to differentiate between quality and marginal caregivers; however, additional research is needed before considering its endorsement for employment screenings, particularly with respect to non-native English speakers.
Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 73-83)