Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Experimental Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Rachel L. Severson

Commitee Members

Lucian Conway III, David Schuldberg, Jacqueline Brown, Jingjing Sun, Kristi Lemm


University of Montana


Worldview is an individual difference construct that is linked to various social, behavioral, and mental health outcomes, such as prejudice (Greenberg & Arndt, 2011), adaptive versus maladaptive behaviors following a natural disaster (Call, 2012), and PTSD symptoms (Jinkerson, 2016). However, very little is known about how worldviews develop. Research on child and adolescent worldviews is greatly impeded by the lack of a child-friendly worldview measure. This dissertation project aims to fill this gap by developing and validating such a measure. This 20-item measure, the Unified Worldview Measure – Child Form (UWM-CF), was adapted from a previously-validated adult measure of worldviews, the Unified Worldview Measure (UWM; Woodard, 2019). The UWM-CF was first piloted on a sample of 33 children 7-9 years old and was then administered to 233 adults and 34 additional children 7-9 years old. exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on adult and child responses to the UWM-CF revealed a few notable deviations in the factor structure of the UWM-CF compared to the factor structure of the UWM. Half of the adult participants were also administered the UWM, and participants’ scores on the 20 UWM-CF items and their counterparts on the UWM were strongly and significantly correlated. Additionally, 10 non-worldview questions were administered to both adult and child participants to assess the discriminant validity of the UWM-CF. Five of the 10 non-worldview items loaded strongly onto the UWM-CF factor structure, indicating a closer relationship between abstracted, generalized worldview beliefs and more concrete, specific beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Finally, religious and political affiliations of adult participants and the parents of child participants predicted participants’ responses to the UWM-CF, evidencing the predictive validity of the UWM-CF. The UWM-CF, though not a perfect adaptation of the UWM, is a promising start toward the first child-friendly, self-report measure of worldviews. Suggestions for improving the UWM-CF and additional future directions are discussed.



© Copyright 2021 Shailee Rose Woodard