Psychometric properties of the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF) in a high-risk sample of mothers and their infants

Psychol Assess. 2016 Oct;28(10):1331-1335. doi: 10.1037/pas0000257. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


The goal of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the English and Spanish versions of the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF) with mothers of 12- to 15-month-old infants with elevated levels of behavior problems and from predominately Hispanic, low-income backgrounds. Mothers of 58 infants were assessed as part of a larger study examining a brief home-based intervention for infants with elevated behavior problems. Internal consistency was good for all 3 subscales (i.e., Parental Distress, Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction, and Difficult Child) and the Total Stress scale. Convergent validity of subscales was supported by correlations with measures of theoretically related constructs, including maternal depressive symptoms, maternal parenting practices, and infant behavior. Furthermore, examination of the optimal clinical cutoff by examining sensitivity and specificity suggested that for this high-risk sample lower percentile scores (73rd-77th), relative to the published 85th percentile cutoff, were sufficient for identifying mothers with clinically elevated depressive symptoms and infants with clinically elevated behavioral and emotional difficulties. The current results provide psychometric support for the PSI-SF as an effective and appropriate measure for use with high-risk families that have been underrepresented in previous research, including mothers of very young children with behavior problems, Hispanic and Spanish-speaking populations, and low-income families. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior / psychology
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Poverty
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology