PSI - Parenting Stress Index, 3rd Ed.

Richard R. Abidin, EdD

Purpose: Identify parent-child problem areas in parents of children ages 1 month-12 years
Ages: 1 month - 12 years
Admin: Individual    
Time: 20-30 minutes   

Qualification Level: 

The PSI is helpful in early identification of dysfunctional parent-child systems; prevention programmes aimed at reducing stress; intervention and treatment planning in high stress areas; family functioning and parenting skills; assessment of child-abuse risk; and forensic evaluation for child custody.
The PSI addresses the early identification and assessment needs. It is well-suited for use in primary health care and pediatric practices, as well as in other settings and programmes that serve at-risk children and families, or which provide early childhood educational and developmental experiences. The PSI is designed for the early identification of parenting and family characteristics that fail to promote normal development and functioning in children, children with behavioural and emotional problems, and parents who are at risk for dysfunctional parenting. It can be used with parents of children as young as one month.


The PSI was developed on the theory that the total stress a parent experiences is a function of certain salient child characteristics, parent characteristics, and situations that are directly related to the role of being a parent. The PSI identifies dysfunctional parenting and predicts the potential for parental behaviour problems and child adjustment difficulties within the family system. Although its primary focus is on the preschool child, the PSI can be used with parents whose children are 12 years of age or younger.

The PSI consists of 120 items and takes less than 30 minutes for the parent to complete. It yields a Total Stress Score, plus scale scores for both Child and Parent Characteristics, which pinpoint sources of stress within the family.

The child characteristics are measured in six subscales: Distractibility/Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood, and Acceptability. The parent personality and situational variables component consists of seven subscales: Competence, Isolation, Attachment, Health, Role Restriction, Depression, and Spouse. The PSI is particularly helpful in:

    * Early identification of dysfunctional parent-child systems.
    * Prevention programmes aimed at reducing stress.
    * Intervention and treatment planning in high stress areas.
    * Family functioning and parenting skills.
    * Assessment of child-abuse risk.
    * Forensic evaluation for child custody.

Validated With Diverse Populations

The PSI has been empirically validated to predict observed parenting behaviour, and children's current and future behavioural and emotional adjustment, not only in a variety of U.S. populations but in a variety of international populations. The transcultural research has involved populations as diverse as Chinese, Portuguese, French Canadian, Italian, Korean, etc. These studies demonstrated comparable statistical characteristics to those reported in the PSI Manual, suggesting that the PSI is a robust diagnostic measure that maintains its validity with diverse non-English-speaking cultures. This ability to effectively survive translation and demonstrate its usefulness as a diagnostic tool with non-English-speaking populations suggests that it is likely to maintain its validity with a variety of different UK. populations.


The Manual has 118 pages of information, including reference group profiles and case illustrations, Hispanic norms, and expanded norms by age. An 11 year reading level is required.

The PSI consists of a 120-item test booklet with an optional 19-item Life Stress scale; and an all-in-one self-scoring answer sheet/profile form. It yields 17 scores, including seven Child Domain scores, eight Parent Domain scores, and a Total Stress score, plus the optional Life Stress score.

The PSI Short Form is a direct derivative of the full-length test and consists of a 36-item self-scoring questionnaire/ profile. It yields a Total Stress score from three scales: Parental Distress, Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction, and Difficult Child.

PSI Short form hand scorable questionnaire /profile forms (pk25)

PSI Short form hand scorable questionnaire /profile forms (pk25)

Short form hand scorable questionnaire /profile forms (pk25)
PSI Hand-Scorable Answer Sheet / Profile Forms

PSI Hand-Scorable Answer Sheet / Profile Forms

PSI Hand-Scorable Answer Sheet / Profile Forms (package of 25)
PSI Reusable Item Booklets

PSI Reusable Item Booklets

PSI Reusable Item Booklets (pack of 10)