The Parental Stress Scale is a self-report scale
that contains 18 items representing pleasure or positive
themes of parenthood (emotional benefits, self-enrichment,
personal development) and negative components (demands on
resources, opportunity costs and restrictions).
Respondents are asked to agree or disagree with items in
terms of their typical relationship with their child or
children and to rate each item on a five-point scale: strongly
disagree (1), disagree (2), undecided (3), agree (4), and
strongly agree (5). The 8 positive items are reverse scored
so that possible scores on the scale can range between 18-90.
scores on the scale indicate greater stress.
The scale is intended to be used for the assessment of
parental stress for both mothers and fathers and for parents
of children with and without clinical problems.
The Parental Stress Scale demonstrated satisfactory
levels of internal reliability (.83), and test-retest reliability
(.81). The scale demonstrated satisfactory convergent validity
with various measures of stress, emotion, and role satisfaction,
including perceived stress, work/family stress, loneliness,
anxiety, guilt, marital satisfaction, marital commitment,
job satisfaction, and social support. Discriminant analyses
demonstrated the ability of the scale to discriminate between
parents of typically developing children and parents of
children with both developmental and behavioral problems.