Which Parenting Skills Count Most? A Large-Scale Online Study
80 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2023
Date Written: August 4, 2023
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
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