Parenting Stress Index
Construct: Identify stressful aspects of parent-child interaction
Description of Measure: Screening and triage measure for evaluating the parenting system and identifying issues that may lead to problems in the child's or parent's behavior. Focuses on three major domains of stress: child characteristics, parent characteristics and situational/demographic life stress.
- Developed in 1983; currently in 4th edition.
- Revised to improve cultural sensitivity of language and to include fathers in the standardization sample. Updated normative pool to match demographic composition of the 2007 U.S. Census.
- Designed for use with parents of children ranging in age from 1 month to 12 years.
- 101 items with optional 19-item Life Stress scale; requires 5th-grade reading level.
- Short form (36 items) has 3 subscales: Parental Distress, Parent–Child Dysfunctional Interaction and Difficult Child. Child and Parent domains combine to form Total Stress Scale. Available in Spanish.
- Profile Form enables each parent's T- score profile to be graphed, which enriches the interpretation by providing a visual inspection of the results.
- No time limit; parents typically complete long form in 20 minutes and short form in 10 minutes.
- Useful in designing a treatment plan, for setting priorities for intervention or for follow-up evaluation. Commonly administered in medical centers, outpatient therapy settings and pediatric practices.
- Child subscales: Distractibility/Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood, Acceptability.
- Parent subscales: Competence, Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Spouse/Parenting Partner Relationship.
- Long form translation available in 28 languages.
- Expanded norms organized by each year of child age.
- Reliability and validity of the test supports that parenting stress is a measure that is useful across diverse populations, including Hispanic, poor rural and inner-city parents.
- Reliability: Child subscale, .78-.88; Parent subscale, .75-.87.
- Reliability coefficients for the two domains and the Total Stress scale were .96 or greater, indicating a high degree of internal consistency for these measures.
- Test-retest reliability: After 1 year, Parent .70 and Child .55; after 3 weeks, Parent .71 and Child .82.
- Important normative samples: N = 1,056 adults (534 mothers; 522 fathers); 223 Hispanic parents from pediatric clinics in New York City; 27 parents self-identified as gay or lesbian. Sample included parents from 17 states in the southern, northeastern, western and midwestern regions of the U.S.
- Similar measures: Stress Index for Parents of Adolescents (SIPA).
Abidin, R. R. (2012). Parenting stress index (4th ed.). Lutz, FL: PAR.
In the Practice Section
- Common Caregiving Problems
- What do Psychologists Need to Know to Help Family Caregivers?
- How Caregivers Reach Psychologists
- Psychologists as Direct Service Clinicians and Consultants
- Conceptual Models
- Variations for Practice with Culturally Diverse Groups
- Business Pragmatics
- Common Ethical Issues