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NDACAN Measure Details

Parenting Stress Index - Short Form (PSI-SF)


The Parenting Stress Index, Short Form (PSI-SF) is a brief version of the Parenting Stress Index, which is a widely used and well-researched measure of parenting stress. The PSI-SF has 36 items from the original 120-item version of the PSI. The PSI-SF yields scores on three subscales: (1) parental distress, (2) parent-child dysfunctional interaction, and (3) difficult child. The instrument takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, is written at a 5th-grade reading level, and has been translated into Spanish. The internal consistency reliabilities of the short-form subscales are high (0.80 to 0.91). Kuendig et al. (2005) indicated that the literature has provided evidence of convergent, concurrent, and discriminant validity and good test-retest reliability. The PSI-SF was developed on a sample of 840 mothers from Virginia. Children’s ages ranged from 10 months to 7 years. The children were 47 percent female; 87 percent were Caucasian (Abidin 1995). Since it was developed, the PSI-SF has been used in populations affected by substance use and in families who have had interactions with child welfare (DePanfilis and Dubowitz 2005; Kelley 1998). As of 2010, more than 200 studies had used the PSI-SF (Abidin n.d.). The PSI-SF is widely used in large-scale longitudinal studies, including Baby FACES (Vogel et al. 2011) and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B; Najarian et al. 2010).


Abidin, R. A. (1995). Parenting stress index short form (PSI-SF). Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. Retrieved from:

Reitman, D., Currier, R. O., & Stickle, T. R. (2002). A critical evaluation of the parenting stress index-short form (PSI-SF) in a head start population. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. 31(3), 384-392. Retrieved from: