Parenting Stress Index – Short Form (PSI-SF)

Measure DescriptionSource of measure Abidin, R. R. (2012). Parenting stress index (4th ed.). Lutz, FL: PAR.

Abidin, R. R. (1990). Parenting stress index-short form. Charlottesville, VA: Pediatric Psychology Press.
Mode of administration Parent self-report questionnaire
Age range for useParents of children 1 month-12 years
Domains AssessedParenting distress, parent-child dysfunctional interaction, and difficult child. Also provides Total Stress Scale.
Related MeasuresParenting Stress Index (PSI)
BurdenTraining needed to administerMinimal staff training required. Staff need to be familiar with all items before administering this self-report measure.
Minutes to complete10-15 minutes
# of items36
Adaptation for AIAN useAdaptedNo
Developer allows adaptation?No
Used with AIAN populations?Yes
AIAN: Cronbach's alpha rangeMore information needed. Internal consistency of the PSI-SF was .94 in a sample of parents, 69% of whom identified as American Indian (Saunders, Sarche, Morse, Trucksess, & Biringen, in preparation). In a sample of American Indian mothers, internal consistency of Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction domain was .753 (Sarche, Croy, Big Crow, Mitchell, & Spicer, 2009).
AIAN: Evidence of validityMore information needed. Criterion validity: In one study, the Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction domain was correlated with ITSEA-measured externalizing behaviors (Sarche et al., 2009). In another study, the Parent Stress and Difficult Child domains were both related to parental depression (measured by CES-D), parent anxiety (measured by GAD-7), and ITSEA-measured externalizing, internalizing, and dysregulation behaviors (Saunders et al., in preparation).
Other populations: Cronbach's alpha rangeInternal consistency of the domains: Parent Distress .88, Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction .88, Difficult Child .89, and Total Stress .95 (Reitman, Currier, & Stickle, 2002). PSI-SF scores were stable over a 1-year period among abusive parents (Haskett, Ahern, Ward & Allaire, 2006).
Other populations: Evidence of validityConstruct validity: Results from Reitman, Currier, and Stickle (2002) support the construct validity of the PSI-SF. In this study, mother report of child behavior problems was associated with the Difficult Child domain; Brief Symptom Inventory scores were associated with Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction and Parental Distress. Criterion validity: scores on the Parenting Distress scale were correlated with the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, Conflict Tactics Scale, observed Sensitive Parenting index. Scores on the child scales (Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction and Difficult Child) relate to observed Positive Child Behavior scores and parent-report Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory(ECBI) (Haskett, Ahern, Ward, & Allaire, 2006). Predictive validity: PSI-SF predicted ECBI scores one year later (Haskett et al., 2006). Further, the child scales discriminated among parents at risk for abuse vs. those not at risk (Haskett et al., 2006).
SourceDeveloperRichard Abidin, PhD
SummaryComments about sensitivity to changePSI-SF scores decreased following early intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder and following an intervention aimed at reducing stress of parents with irritable infants, (Keefe, Karjlsen, Lobo, Kotzer, & Dudley, 2006; Wong & Kwan, 2010). PSI-SF scores also changed in response to stage of hospitalization among parents of children with feeding problems (Garro, Thurman, Kerwin, & Ducette, 2005).
General remarks