Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Metric

Parenting Stress Index (PSI)


Access: FREE/Open Access

evaluation focus

Parent-Child System Stress

applicable ages

1-144 months; 0-12 years

available language(s)

English, Spanish, and 10+ Others (Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Puerto Rico), Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hebrew, Dutch, French, French (Canadian))


Must be purchased


The Parenting Stress Index (PSI) is a screening and diagnostic assessment tool that can be used to measure stress in the parent-child system. The tool was developed Richard Abidin in 1976 and has since been revised to a short form. The instrument may aid in the identification of and interventional response to children with behavioral and emotional problems, as well as potentially dysfunctional parent and family characteristics.

6 Child Domain Subscales:

    • Distractibility/Hyperactivity
    • Adaptability
    • Reinforces Parents
    • Demandingness
    • Mood
    • Acceptability

7 Parent Subscales:

    • Competence
    • Isolation
    • Attachment
    • Health
    • Role Restriction
    • Depression
    • Spouse

Scores Generated:

    • Parent Domain Score
    • Child Domain Score
    • Total Stress factors score

Administration Format: self-report by parent interview, training required for interpretation

Administration Time: ~20 minutes (long form, 120 items); ~10 minutes (short form, 36 items)


    • Internal Consistency:
        • Child Domain Subscales: 0 .70 – 0.83 z
        • Parent Domain Subscales: 0.70 – 0.84
        • Total Stress: greater than 0.90
    • Test-Retest: coefficients after a range of 3 week to 1 year delay
        • Child Domain: 0.55 – 0.82
        • Parent Domain: 0.69 – 0.91
        • Total Stress: 0.65 – 0.96

Validity: multiple studies support construct and predictive validity across children with developmental delays, behavioral disorders, chronic illness, and across a variety of language, culture, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Research also indicates that long and short forms have correlations of 0.87 – 0.94 across their major domains.

Source: bhttps://psychology.iresearchnet.com/forensic-psychology/divorce-and-child-custody/parenting-stress-index/#:~:text=Parenting%20Stress%20Index.%20The%20Parenting%20Stress%20Index%20%28PSI%29%2C,the%20magnitude%20of%20stress%20in%20the%20parent-child%20system

supporting literature

Abidin, R.R. (1995) Parenting Stress Index, Professional Manual, 3rd Edition. Psychological Assessment Resources, Print.
Link: https://www.parinc.com/Products?pkey=332

Parenting Stress Index, Full-Length Version. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
PDF: PSI – 2 – Full Length Version Summary
Link: https://www.nctsn.org/measures/parenting-stress-index-full-length-version

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.
PDF: PSI – 3 – Reitman 2002
Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15374424JCCP3103_10