Music@Home: A novel instrument to assess the home musical environment in the early years.

Politimou, Nina; Stewart, Lauren; Müllensiefen, Daniel and Franco, Fabia. 2018. Music@Home: A novel instrument to assess the home musical environment in the early years. PLoS ONE(e01938), ISSN 1932-6203 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The majority of children under the age of 5 appear to show spontaneous enjoyment of singing, being exposed to music and interacting with musical instruments, but whether variations in engaging in such activities in the home could contribute to developmental outcomes is still largely unknown. Critically, researchers lack a comprehensive instrument with good psychometric properties to assess the home musical environment from infancy to the preschool years. To address this gap, this paper presents two studies that describe the development and validation of the Music@Home questionnaire, which comprises two versions: Infant and Preschool. In Study 1, an initial pool of items was generated and administered to a wide audience of parents (n = 287 for the Infant, n = 347 for the Preschool version). Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify different dimensions comprising the home musical environment of both infants and pre-schoolers, and to reduce the initial pool of items to a smaller number of meaningful items. In Study 2, convergent and divergent validity and internal and test-retest reliability of the new instrument were established, using data from a different sample of participants (n = 213 for the Infant, n = 213 for the Preschool version). The second study also investigated associations between the Music@Home and musical characteristics of the parents, such as their musical education and personal engagement with music. Overall, the Music@Home constitutes a novel, valid and reliable instrument that allows for the systematic assessment of distinct aspects of the home musical environment in families with children under the age of 5. Furthermore, the Infant and Preschool versions of the Music@Home present differential associations with musical characteristics of the parents opening a new area of inquiry into how musical exposure and interaction in the home may vary across different developmental stages.

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The authors would like to thank Olivia Brancatisano for her contribution to the generation of the initial pool of items for the Music@Home. We would also like to thank Prof Wendy Valerio, Dr Alison Reynolds and Prof Grant Morgan for granting us access to their data regarding validation of the Children’s Musical Behavior Inventory. We finally extend our thanks to Middlesex University for funding the first author’s PhD studies which made this project possible, and to all the participants who completed the Music@Home questionnaires.

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20 March 2018Accepted
11 April 2018Published

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21 Jun 2018 13:13

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 23:18

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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