Department Of Psychology

Parental Stress Scale

What is it?

  • 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. Higher 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.