Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Nursing Motives for Helping Scale (N-MHS): Reliability and Validity

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Nursing Motives for Helping Scale (N-MHS): Reliability and Validity

Article excerpt

This paper presents the Nursing Motives for Helping Scale (N-MHS), an instrument designed for the evaluation of three of the four motives for helping derived from Batson's helping pathway theory. Dimensionality was analyzed by means of principal component analysis (n = 113), followed by confirmatory factor analysis. A 3-factor structure (corresponding to Batson's differentiation among altruistic motivation, reward-seeking motivation, and punishment-avoidance motivation, respectively), with 9 items distributed in three latent variables, revealed an acceptable fit to the data. Alpha values (.60 - .74) showed that internal consistency was acceptable for a newly developed subscale with a small number of items. Convergence validity was evaluated with correlations between N-MHS subscales scores and scores on the Professional Expectations Scale (Garrosa, Moreno-Jiménez, Rodríguez-Carvajal, & Morante, 2005). The three resulting subscales are a promising instrument for the evaluation of three nursing motives for helping that can contribute to reduce the potential risks and to improve the potential benefits both for the nurse and the patient.

Keywords: motivation to help, nursing, altruism, validity, reliability, questionnaire

En este articulo se presenta la Escala de Motivaciones de Ayuda en Enfermería [The Nursing Motives for Helping Scale (N-MHS)], un instrumento elaborado para evaluar tres de las cuatro motivaciones de ayuda derivadas del modelo de motivación prosocial de Batson. Se analizó la dimensionalidad mediante análisis de componentes principales (n = 113), seguido de análisis factorial confirmatorio. La estructura de 3 factores (correspondiendo a la diferenciación de Batson entre las motivaciones altruista, la de búsqueda de recompensa y la de evitación del castigo, respectivamente), con 9 ítems distribuidos en 3 variables latentes, mostró un ajuste aceptable a los datos. Los valores de alfa (.60 - .74) indicaron que la consistencia interna era aceptable para una subescala nueva con un número pequeño de ítems. La validez convergente se evaluó mediante las correlaciones entre las puntuaciones de las subescalas de la N-MHS y las puntuaciones en la Escala de Expectativas Profesionales (Garrosa, Moreno-Jiménez, Rodríguez-Carvajal y Morante, 2005). Las tres subescalas resultantes constituyen un instrumento prometedor para la evaluación de tres motivaciones de ayuda de enfermería que pueden contribuir a reducir los riesgos y a incrementar los beneficios potenciales tanto de los profesionales de enfermería como de los pacientes.

Palabras clave: motivación de ayuda, enfermería, altruismo, validez, fiabilidad, cuestionario

The concept of "prosocial behavior" consists of a broad variety of actions directed at benefiting others (Batson, 1998), including behaviors such as sharing, cooperating, comforting, and helping, among others. Specifically, this last type of prosocial behavior has been described as a complex behavior, multi-determined by an extensive range of causal factors, moderating circumstances and mediating mechanisms (Dovidio & Penner, 2004). Among them, both dispositional factors and more strictly situational factors have been identified as relevant elements to explain helping behavior (Bierhoff & Rohmann, 2004; Eisenberg, 1991; Romer, Gruder, & Lizzadro, 1986), despite which, empirical efforts have focused primarily on elements of a more contextual nature.

Within this situational framework, Batson and his collaborators (see Batson, 1991) presented the well known empathy-altruism hypothesis that has been the foundation for the development of a voluminous empirical corpus that attempts to demonstrate the existence of true altruism. According to this theory, the presence of another person in a state of need can produce a broad range of emotional experiences in the observer, such as sadness, stress (i.e., worry, displeasure, etc.) or empathic interest (sympathy, compassion, etc. …

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