Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS)

The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) assesses symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in adults using a 21-item questionnaire. Each item is rated on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (did not apply to me) to 3 (applied to me very much or most of the time). Click here to see a full pdf of the DASS scale.

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Two studies that are worth reading regarding the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) are:

Antony, M. M., Bieling, P. J., Cox, B. J., Enns, M. W., & Swinson, R. P. (1998). Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychological Assessment, 10(2), 176-181.

Henry, J. D., & Crawford, J. R. (2005). The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44(2), 227-239.

Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS): DAS-4

The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) is a self-reported tool that measures a couples’ satisfaction–how happy they are with each other) and consists of 32 questions. You can click here to download a pdf of the DAS.

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 5.00.47 PMThe DAS-4 is an abbreviated version of this–so you can complete the form faster!

The 4 alludes to the fact that there are only four items: three of which are on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (all the time) to 5 (never), while the final item is on a 7-point scale ranging from 0 (extremely happy) to 6 (perfect).

Two articles to read regarding the Dyadic Adjustment Scale are:

Sabourin, S., Valois, P., & Lussier, Y. (2005). Development and validation of a brief version of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale with a nonparametric item analysis model. Psychological Assessment, 17(1), 15-27.

Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 38(1), 15-28.

Parent Problem Checklist (PPC)

The Parent Problem Checklist (PPC) is used to help measure parental adjustment but using its 16-item questionnaire measuring inter-parental conflict over child rearing issues, with the questions in a yes/no format, but a Likert-scale is also added in to describe the extent to which a problem occurs.

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To see the Parent Problem Checklist click here.

To read more about the Parent Problem Checklist, check out these two articles:

Dadds, M. R., & Powell, M. B. (1991). The relationship of interparental conflict and global marital adjustment to aggression, anxiety, and immaturity in aggressive and nonclinic children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 19(5), 553-567.

Stallman, H. M., Morawska, A., & Sanders, M. R. (2009). Parent Problem Checklist: Tool for assessing parent conflict. Australian Psychologist, 44(2), 78-85.

Google has a great number of handy widgets to use to make life easier and navigate the web more efficiently.

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 4.41.19 PM is a researchers dream, as they have the most comprehensive database of published articles. It’s a one stop shop!

You can do anything from general searches to extremely specific searches (assuming you know author names, titles, publisher information etc).

A good video to use for understanding the basics of Google Scholar can be seen at here:

Parenting Scale (PS)

The Parenting Scale (SC) is a 7-point Likert-scale 30-item questionnaire that measures the similarities and differences in how the parents parent. The questions ask parents simple hypotheticals to see how they would react to different behavior problems. The Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 10.16.21 PMparenting scale’s 30 questions can be found here. The scale measures the parents on three subscales: laxness, overreactivity  and hostile parenting, although in the Swedish context, only laxness and overreactivity have been found to be reliable (see Salari, Terreros, & Sarkadi, 2012). Laxness refers to a parents’ inconsistent or permissive parenting, while Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 10.13.23 PMoverreactivity refers to a parents’ harsh or punitive parenting. Hostile parenting refers to the extent to which a parent hits, curses or insults their child.

Rhoades and O’Leary (2007) published this article on the factor structure and validity of the Parenting Scale.

Another good citation for the Parenting Scale (PS) is:

Arnold, D. S., O’Leary, S. G., Wolff, L. S., & Acker, M. M. (1993). The Parenting Scale: A measure of dysfunctional parenting in discipline situations. Psychological Assessment, 5(2), 137-144.

Dr. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan and Ohio State University

In 2006 I met Dr Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan rather fortuitously. I was primed to attend Ohio State University (OSU) to work with a professor studying cohabitation policy.

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 9.57.17 AMHowever, the summer before I was going to start my master’s program in Human Development and Family Science, that professor made the choice to leave OSU, and so I had to find a new advisor.

And it couldn’t have turned out better!

Dr Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan is a Developmental Psychologist (earning her PhD from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana) who is an Associate Professor in Human Development and Family Science within the College of Education and Human Ecology (read a short biography here).

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She is primarily interested in the transition to parenthood, focusing on social-emotional issues and co-parenting. However, she also researchers attachment theory, fathers,preschoolers, and cohabiting relationships. To read more about her current research projects click here and to see her CV click sschoppe-sullivan.

In 2012 she received the highest honor a teacher can receive at OSU: The Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Her main project is called the New Parents Project and her work is highlighted in newspapers articles and through the NSF Science Now (half-way through the video clip), where she finds that while both mothers and fathers are highly involved in their young children’s lives, mothers still do way more child care tasks while fathers typically involve themselves in play and academic pursuits.

To see the list of her on-going projects click here.

Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC)

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 9.58.22 PMThe Parenting Sense of Competence scale measures parental competence on two dimensions: Satisfaction and Efficacy. It is a 16 item Likert-scale questionnaire (on a 6 point scale ranging from strongly agree [1] to strongly disagree [6]), with nine questions under Satisfaction and seven under Efficacy. Satisfaction section examines the parents’ anxiety, motivation and frustration, while the Efficacy section looks at the parents’ competence, capability levels, and problem-solving abilities in their parental role.

The scale can also be a 17-point scale, as seen here (although as a 16-point scale, the last question isn’t used).


Scoring the PSOC: The scoring for the 17-point scale is found here (When scoring the PSOC, it is important to remember that several of the questions are reverse coded).


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Some citation references for this scale are (the last two have public links to the publications’ pdfs):

Johnston, C., & Mash, E. J. (1989). A measure of parenting satisfaction and efficacy. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 18(2), 167-175. (who cite Gilbaud-Wallston & Wanderson, 1978).

Ohan, J. L., Leung, D. W., & Johnston, C. (2000). The Parenting Sense of Competence Scale: Evidence of a stable factor structure and validity. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des Sciences du comportement, 32(4), 251-261.

Gilmore, Linda A. and Cuskelly, Monica (2008) Factor structure of the parenting sense of competence scale using a normative sample. Child care, health & development, 38(1). pp. 48-55.

President Obama on Expanding Early Childhood Education in Atlanta

On Thursday, February 14th, 2012, President Obama visited a Head Start preschool in Atlanta before announcing his plan to expand preschool to all four year old who come from families in low-to-moderate income levels.

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President Obama has spoken about expanding Early Childhood Programs before, but has always been met with resistance and this is no exception, as the Republicans in the House are not pleased, saying that this will cost too much money and the effects fade out over time.

The Washington Post has a nice article about Obama’s plan, while NPR provides a nice overview of the topics via the radio. Or click here to see a video of President Obama speaking on Early Childhood Education.

Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI)

The Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI) is a parent rating scale that assesses child behavior problems using two scales: the intensity scale and the problem scale. The intensity scale is seen as the more objective scale, as it measures how frequent particular behaviors occur within the child, while the problem scale measures whether or not the parent sees that behavior as a problem.

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For example, perhaps a child hits their sibling. Hitting the sibling might be part of the intensity scale, while if the parent things this is a problem is part of the problem scale (i.e. one parent may say “hitting should never be allowed” while the other says “siblings will be siblings”–even though both agree that the child does hit their sibling. Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 10.41.09 AM

The tool can be used for children who are between 2 to 16 years old and the examination takes about 5-10 minutes (using the full 36-item questionnaire). There is also a revised edition with only 22 questions, called the ECBI-22. Both parents and professionals can use the tool.

For more information see:

ECBI’s website for purchasing the product.

General information on ECBI, as well as some citations and the reliability and validity numbers.

Some good citations for ECBI are:

Axberg, U., Hanse, J. J., & Broberg, A. G. (2008). Parents’ description of conduct     problems in their children – A test of the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI) in a Swedish sample aged 3–10. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49, 497-505.

Burns, G., & Patterson, D. R. (2000). Factor structure of the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory: A parent rating scale of oppositional defiant behavior toward adults, inattentive behavior, and conduct problem behavior. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29(4), 569-577.

Eyberg, S. M., & Pincus, D. (1999). Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory and Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Rich, B. A., & Eyberg, S. M. (2001). Accuracy of assessment: the discriminative and predictive power of the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory. Ambulatory Child Health, 7(3-4), 249-257.

From theory to practice – A health economic evaluation of a parent training programme in Uppsala preschools, Sweden

At the 2013 Nordic Conference on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice in Linköping at Linköping University (Sweden), Filipa Sampaio presented a poster entitled “From theory to practice – A health economic evaluation of a parent training programme in Uppsala preschools, Sweden.” Michael Wells (me), Inna Feldman, and Anna Sarkadi were co-authors. (read the abstract from this poster and all of the other presentations from the conference here).


Filipa, a PhD student at Uppsala University, who focuses on Health Economics in Social Pediatrics/Parenting Support in the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, eloquently announced her findings from a health economic perspective of the Triple P–Positive Parenting Programme.

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(click here to see a pdf of the poster: poster presentation_Nordic conference_22_01_2013)

The main finding was that the Triple P program is effective at reducing child behavior and parental mental health at a relatively low cost; and investment in Triple P is self-financed after 1 year and could amount to greater financial (and resource) savings post-1 year.