Parenting Stress Index (PSI)

Measure DescriptionSource of measure Abidin, R. R. (2012). Parenting stress index (4th ed.). Lutz, FL: PAR.
Mode of administration Parent self-report questionnaire
Age range for useParents of children 1 month-12 years
Domains AssessedScreens for stress in the parent-child relationship, dysfunctional parenting, and child adjustment problems.

Provides total stress scale and life stress scale.

Child domain: adaptability, acceptability, demandingness, mood, distractibility/hyperactivity, reinforcement of parent.

Parent domain: depression, isolation, attachment, role restriction, competence, spouse/parenting-partner relationship, health.
Related MeasuresParenting Stress Index - Short Form (PSI-SF)
BurdenTraining needed to administerMinimal staff training required. Staff need to be familiar with all items before administering this self-report measure.
Minutes to complete20 minutes
# of items120 (101 + 19 life stress items)
Adaptation for AIAN useAdaptedNo
Developer allows adaptation?No
Used with AIAN populations?Yes
AIAN: Cronbach's alpha rangeMore information needed. One study reported a Cronbach's alpha of .80 in their study with a sample of young reservation-based American Indian mothers (Walkup et al., 2009).
AIAN: Evidence of validityNot yet available.
Other populations: Cronbach's alpha rangeChild subscale: .77-.88, parent subscale: .75-.87. Reliability for two domains and total stress scale were .96 or higher. Test-retest reliability after 3 weeks was .71 for the parent scale and .82 for the child scale (reported by American Psychological Association).
Other populations: Evidence of validityInformation about the procedures used to develop the PSI, as well as documentation of its validity are provided in PSI Manuals, Research Updates, and Clinical Trials (Abidin, 1979; 1983; 2012). The PSI child domain score discriminates among mothers of high-risk low birth weight infants and mothers of term infants (Singer et al., 1999). The PSI shows predictive validity. It predicts marital adjustment, depression, behavioral observations of child problems, and parent report of child behaviors (Bigras, LaFreniere, & Dumas, 1996).
SourceDeveloperRichard Abidin, PhD
SummaryComments about sensitivity to changeFollowing an intervention focused on mother-infant interactions, PSI scores decreased (Karrasen, Ronning, Ulvund, & Dahl, 2006). Following a brief parent-focused intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, PSI scores decreased (Keen, Couzens, Muspratt, & Rodger, 2010).
General remarks