Which Parenting Skills Count Most? A Large-Scale Online Study

80 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2023

See all articles by Robert Epstein

Robert Epstein

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Hannah Kim

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Priyanka Nanayakkara

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Patricia Natalie

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Lucy Ryall

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Zoë Scandalis

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Ning Wang

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Ivy Wong

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology

Date Written: August 4, 2023

Abstract

An online questionnaire was used to measure 10 competencies that have been shown in empirical studies to be helpful in parenting, and regression analyses were performed to rank-order those competencies according to how well they were associated with five desirable, self-reported parenting outcomes. A concurrent study design was used to evaluate the new questionnaire with data obtained from a diverse sample of 15,959 parents in 133 countries (56.1% from the U.S.). In a double-blind procedure to assess content validity, eleven parenting professionals rated both the competencies and the questionnaire items fairly highly. Internal consistency reliability was also high, and total scores were positively correlated with answers to five criterion questions about parent-child relationship quality, parents’ ratings of their own parenting abilities, happiness of children, health of children, and success of children (p < 0.001). Effects were found for gender (with females slightly outscoring males), race/ethnicity, divorce, sexual orientation, and education level, but not for age or number of children. Total scores were higher for parents who had had parent training, and more training was associated with higher scores. Regression analyses suggested that Love and Affection was generally the best predictor of good parenting outcomes, with Stress Management ranking second, and Autonomy and Independence ranking third. The study supports the view that parenting can be broken down into measurable and trainable competencies and provides guidance regarding how such training should be conducted.

Keywords: EPCI, Epstein Parenting Competencies Inventory, parenting competencies, parenting skills

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Robert and Kim, Hannah and Nanayakkara, Priyanka and Natalie, Patricia and Ryall, Lucy and Scandalis, Zoë and Wang, Ning and Wong, Ivy, Which Parenting Skills Count Most? A Large-Scale Online Study (August 4, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4531923 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4531923

Robert Epstein (Contact Author)

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

1035 E Vista Way Ste 120
Vista, CA 92024
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aibrt.org

Hannah Kim

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

United States

Priyanka Nanayakkara

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

United States

Patricia Natalie

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

United States

Lucy Ryall

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

United States

Zoë Scandalis

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

United States

Ning Wang

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

United States

Ivy Wong

American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology ( email )

United States

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