Department Of Psychology


Parental Stress Scale

The following statements describe feelings and perceptions about the experience of being a parent. Think of each of the items in terms of how your relationship with your child or children typically is. Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following items by placing the appropriate number in the space provided.

1 = Strongly disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Undecided 4 = Agree 5 = Strongly agree

____ 1. I am happy in my role as a parent.

____ 2. There is little or nothing I wouldn't do for my child(ren) if it was necessary.

____ 3. Caring for my child(ren) sometimes takes more time and energy than I have to give.

____ 4. I sometimes worry whether I am doing enough for my child(ren).

____ 5. I feel close to my child(ren).

____ 6. I enjoy spending time with my child(ren).

____ 7. My child(ren) is an important source of affection for me.

____ 8. Having child(ren) gives me a more certain and optimistic view for the future.

____ 9. The major source of stress in my life is my child(ren).

____ 10. Having child(ren) leaves little time and flexibility in my life.

____ 11. Having child(ren) has been a financial burden.

____ 12. It is difficult to balance different responsibilities because of my child(ren).

____ 13. The behavior of my child(ren) is often embarrassing or stressful to me.

____ 14. If I had it to do over again, I might decide not to have child(ren).

____ 15. I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a parent.

____ 16. Having child(ren) has meant having too few choices and too little control over my life.

____ 17. I am satisfied as a parent.

____ 18. I find my child(ren) enjoyable.


To compute the parental stress score, items 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 17, and 18 should be reverse scored as follows: (1=5) (2=4) (3=3) (4=2) (5=1). The item scores are then summed.

Reference: Berry, J. O., & Jones, W. H. (1995). The Parental Stress Scale: Initial psychometric evidence. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 12, 463-472.