Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 30–41 | Cite as

Development and Validation of a Parenting Scale Short Form (PS-8) in a Representative Population Sample

  • Sören KliemEmail author
  • Anna Lohmann
  • Thomas Mößle
  • Heather M. Foran
  • Kurt Hahlweg
  • Markus Zenger
  • Elmar Brähler
Original Paper


Early mental and behavioral disorders are significant predictors of psychopathologies in adulthood. Parenting behavior (e.g., overreactivity and laxness) influences the development of behavioral problems in children. It is thus often assessed in therapeutic settings, as well as in the context of intervention studies. The aim of this study was to develop a short form of the Parenting Scale (PS), PS-8, and to evaluate its psychometric properties. Based on data from a large pre-school survey, an eight-item short form scale was compiled. The short version was presented to a large representative population sample (N = 539 parents, n = 312 mothers, n = 227 fathers). Psychometric properties were assessed and measurement invariance tests performed. The internal consistency of both PS-8 subscales as well as the mean score were satisfactory. Strict measurement invariance could be confirmed for parental age, gender and age*gender interaction, as well as for the child’s age, gender, and gender*age interaction, allowing unbiased comparison of means, correlation coefficients, path coefficients as well as undistorted screening decisions between the aforementioned groups. Furthermore, the PS-8 mean score was associated with self-rating measures of related constructs (parental anxiety and depression). Hence, the PS-8 presents a reliable, valid and economical tool to assess dysfunctional parenting behavior and can thus be effectively applied within the frameworks of clinical studies, epidemiological research, or related research areas. In future research the convergent validity of the PS-8 with child behavior questionnaires should be assessed.


Parenting Scale Confirmatory factor analysis Measurement invariance analysis Laxness Overreactivity 



The authors would like to thank Solveig Haselbach for the proof reading of the final manuscript.


This research did not receive any external funding.

Author Contributions

S.K.: performed the statistical analysis, and wrote the paper. A.L.: assisted with the data analyses and collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. T.M.: collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. H.M.F.: collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. K.H., M.Z. and E.B.: designed and executed the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was authorized by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig (Az.: 050/13-03.05.2013).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Criminological Research Institute of Lower SaxonyHannoverGermany
  2. 2.State Police College of Baden-WuerttembergVillingen-SchwenningenGermany
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyTechnical University of BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  4. 4.Faculty of Applied Human StudiesUniversity of Applied Sciences Magdeburg and StendalMagdeburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of Medical Psychology and Medical SociologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  6. 6.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyUniversity Medical Center MainzMainzGermany
  7. 7.ALPEN-ADRIA-UNIVERSITÄT KLAGENFURTKlagenfurt am WörtherseeAustria

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