The Psychometric Properties of the Structured Preschool Participation Observation (SPO)

Anat Golos*, Naomi Weintraub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Aims: To evaluate the validity and reliability of the Structured Preschool Participation Observation (SPO), based on the COnsensus-based-Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments. The SPO development was based on biopsychosocial and ecological models to evaluate children's participation in play, learning and social occupational areas. Methods: Following the establishment of content validity, construct validity using factor analysis and reliability were examined among 250 preschool children with typical development (TD). The known-groups procedure was used, comparing 88 children with developmental disabilities (DD), who attended special educational settings with the TD children. Results: Three factors accounted for 68% of the variance. High internal consistency (alpha>.812) was found, as well as a significant moderate-to-high inter-rater reliability in most areas. Children with TD scored significantly higher than children with DD with small to large effect sizes. Conclusions: The SPO appears to be a suitable measure for assessing children's participation in preschool activities through structured observation. Further studies are needed to further establish its psychometric properties, along with using additional scales of enjoyment and/or involvement and self-care activities. The SPO may assist in generating intervention goals for children with limitations in participation and may complement information gathered from parents.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)582-594
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • educational setting
  • evaluation
  • participation
  • preschool
  • reliability
  • validity


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