Development and Validation of Perceived Inter-Parental Conflict Scale for Adolescents


  • Nosheen Ramzan University of the Punjab
  • Farah Malik University of the Punjab
  • Iram Fatima University of the Punjab


Adolescents, inter-parental conflict, principal axis factoring


The study aimed to develop a culturally relevant scale to assess the perceived inter-parental conflicts in adolescents by using a mixed-method approach. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with 10 adolescents of age range 14-18 years were conducted along with 3 focus groups of parents and teachers that helped to generate a pool of 88 items. Construct validity and psychometric properties were determined on a sample of 500 adolescent with age range 14-18 years (M = 15.28, SD = 1.07). Principal axis factoring through direct oblimin rotation method postulated 60 items with six distinct factors (named as overt conflicts, familial conflicts, conflicts related emotional reactivity, financial conflicts, child related conflicts, and psychological conflicts) that accounted for 38% variance. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for total scale was .94 and ranged from .63 to .92 for six emerged factors. The convergent and discriminant validity of the scale was also satisfactory. Perceived Inter-Parental Conflict Scale for Adolescents (PIPCSA) was a reliable and valid measure to assess perceived inter-parental conflicts in adolescents.


Ai, T., Xu, Q., Li, X., & Li, D. (2017). Inter-parental conflict and Chinese adolescents’ suicide ideation and suicide attempts: The mediating role of peer victimization. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26, 3502-3511. doi:10.1007/s10826-017-0837-y

Aytac, I., & Rankin, B. (2009). Economic crisis and marital problems in Turkey: Testing the family stress model. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71, 756-767.

Barber, B. K. (1994). Cultural, family, and personal contexts of parent-adolescent conflict. Journal of Marriage and Family, 56(2), 375-386. doi:10.2307/353106

Batool, S. S., & Mumtaz, A. F. (2015). Development and validation of parenting style scale. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 30(2), 225-248.

Bradford, K., Vaughn, L. B., & Barber, B. K. (2007). When there is conflict: Inter-parental conflict, parent-child conflict, and youth problem behaviours. Journal of Family Issues, 29(6), 780-805. doi:10.1177/0192 513X07308043

Bringhenti, F. (2005). Contribution to the validation of an inter-parental con?ict measure: The Children’s Perception of Inter-parental Con?ict Scale (CPIC). Bollettino di Psicologia Applicata, 247, 35-51.

Bosco, G. L., Renk, K., Dinger, T. M., Epstein, M. K., & Phares, V. (2003). The connections between adolescents’ perceptions of parents, parental psychological symptoms, and adolescents functioning. Applied Developmental Psychology, 24, 179-200. doi:10.1016/S0193-3973(03)000 44-3

Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. Jason Aaronson.

Buehler, C., Krishnakumar, A., Stone, G., Anthony, C., Pemberton, S., & Barber, B. (1998). Inter-parental conflict styles and youth problem behaviours: A two-sample replication study. Journal of Marriage and Family, 60, 119-132.

Bukhari, S., & Masood, S. (2020). Children’s Perception of Inter-parental Conflict Scale: Urdu translation and validation. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 35(2), 337-354. doi:10.33824/PJPR.2020.35.2. 18

Butt, M. M. (2014). Psychological adjustment and emotion regulation in drug addicts (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Department of Psychology, Government College University, Lahore.

Chi, L., & Xin, Z. (2003). The revision of children’s perception of marital con?ict scale. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 17, 554-556.

Coltrane, S. (2004). Fathering: Paradoxes, contradictions, and dilemmas. In M. Coleman, & L. Ganong, (Eds.), Handbook of contemporary families: Considering the past, contemplating the future (pp. 224-243). Sage Publications.

Conger, R., & Conger, K. (2002). Resilience in Midwestern families: Selected findings from the first decade of a prospective, longitudinal study. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 361-373.

Conger, R., Ge, X., Elder, G., Lorenz, F., & Simons, R. (1994). Economic-stress, coercive family process, and developmental problems of adolescents. Child Development, 65, 541-561.

Cummings, E. M., & Davies, P. T. (2002). Effects of marital conflict on children: Recent advances and emerging themes in process-oriented research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 4(3), 31-63.

Cummings, E. M., Goeke-Morey, M. C., & Papp, L. M. (2004). Everyday marital conflict and child aggression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32, 191-202.

Cummings, E. M., George, M. R., McCoy, K. P., & Davis, P. T. (2012). Interparental conflict in kindergarten and adolescent adjustment: Prospective investigation of emotional security as an explanatory mechanism. Child Development, 83(5), 1703-15. doi:10.1111/j.1467-862 4.2012.01807.x.

Davis, P. T., Martin, M. J., Coe, J. L., & Cummings, E. M. (2016). Transactional cascades of destructive inter-parental conflict, children's emotional insecurity, and psychological problems across childhood and adolescence. Developmental Psychopathology, 28(3), 653-71. doi:10.101 7/S0954579416000237

Davies, P. T., Myers, R. L., & Cummings, E. M. (1996). Responses of children and adolescents to marital conflict scenarios as a function of the emotionality of conflict endings. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 42, 1-21.

De Arth-Pendley, G., & Cummings, E. M. (2002). Children's emotional reactivity to inter-adult nonverbal conflict expressions. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 163(1), 97-111. doi:10.1080/0022132020 9597971

Du Rocher Schudlich, T. D., Shamir, H., & Cummings, E. M. (2004). Marital conflict, children's representations of family relationships, and children dispositions towards peer conflict strategies. Social Development, 13, 171-179. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2004.000262.x

El-Sheikh, M., Buckhalt, J. A., Cummings, E. M., & Keller, P. (2007). Sleep disruptions and emotional insecurity are pathways of risk for children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(1), 88-96. doi:10.1111/ j.1469-7610.2006.01604.x

El-Sheikh, M., & Whitson, S. A. (2006). Longitudinal relations between marital conflict and child adjustment: Vagal regulation as a protective factor. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(1), 30-39. doi:10.10 37/0893-3

Finley, G. E., & Schwartz, S. J. (2004). The father involvement and nurturant fathering scales: Retrospective measures for adolescent and adult children. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64(1), 143-164.

Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1980). An analysis of cop¬ing in a middle-aged community sample. Journal of Health & Social Behaviour, 21(3), 219-239. doi:10.2307/2136617

Fomby, P., & Cherlin, A. J. (2007). Family instability and child well-being. American Sociological Review, 72(2), 181-204.

Grych, J. H., Seid, M., & Fincham, F.D. (1992). Assessing marital conflict from the child’s perspective: The children’s perception of inter-parental conflict scale. Child Development, 63, 558-572.

Grych, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (1990). Marital conflict and children’s adjustment: A cognitive-conceptual framework. Psychological Bulletin, 108, 267-290. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.108.2.267

Godde, M., & Walper, S. (2001).The German short version of the Children’s Perception of Inter-parental Con?ict Scale. Diagnostica, 47, 18-26.

Gottman, J. M. (1998). Psychology and study of marital processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 169-197. doi:10.1146/annurev. psych.49.1.169.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis: A global perspective. London: Pearson.

Hampel, P., & Petermann, F. (2006). Perceived stress, coping, and adjustment in adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 38, 409-415. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2005.02.014

Harold, G. T., Aitken, J. J., & Shelton, K. H. (2007). Inter-parental conflict and child academic attainment: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 1223-1232. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.20 07.01793.x

Iraurgi, I., Mart´?nez-Pampliega, A., Sanz, M., Cosgaya, L., Gal´?ndez, E., & Munoz, A. (2008).Escala de Con?ictoInterparentaldesde la Perspectiva de los Hijos (CPIC): Estudio de validaci´on de unaversi´onabreviada de 36 ´?tems [Children’s Perception of Interparental Con?ict Scales (CPIC): Validation study of a short version of 36 items]. RevistaIberoamericana de Diagn´ostico e Avaliac¸˜aoPsicol´ogica, 25, 9-34.

Jelenova, D., Lacinova, L., & Prasko, J. (2013). Inter-parental conflict and adolescents suicidiality. European Psychiatry, 28(1), 501-515. doi:10.10 16/S0924-9338

Jouriles, E. N., Spiller, L. C., Stephens, N., McDonald, R., & Swank, P. (2000). Variability in adjustment of children of battered women: The role of child appraisals of inter-parental conflict. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24, 233-249. doi:10.1023/A: 1005402310180

Kline, P. (2013). Handbook of Psychological Testing. London: Routledge.

Kwon, H., Rueter, M., Lee, M., Koh, S., & Ok, S. (2003). Marital relationships following the Korean economic crisis: Applying the family stress model. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 316-325. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2003.00316.x

Lieber, E., Fung, H., & Leung, P. W. (2006). Chinese child rearing beliefs: Key dimensions and contributions to the development culture appropriate assessment. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 9, 140-147.

McDonald, R., & Grych, J. H. (2006). Young children’s appraisals of inter-parental conflict: Measurement and links with adjustment problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 88-99. doi:10.1037/0893-3200.20.1.88

Mei, Z., & Zhongjian, M. (2006). The structure of junior high school students’ perception of inter-parental con?ict. Psychological Science, 29, 454-456.

Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and Family Therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Montenegro, E., & Jankowski, N. A. (2017, January). Equity and assessment: Moving towards culturally responsive assessment (Occasional Paper No. 29). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

Moura, O., Santos, R. A. D., Rocha, M., & Matos, P. M. (2010).Children’s Perception of Inter-parental Conflict Scale (CPIC): Factor structure and invariance across adolescents and emerging adults. International Journal of Testing, 10, 364-382. doi:10.1080/15305058.2010.487964

Ponnet, K., Wouters, E., Goedeme, T., & Mortelmans, D. (2013). Family financial stress, parenting and problem behaviour in adolescents: An actor partner interdependence approach. Journal of Family, 20(10), 1-24. doi:10.1177/0192513X13514409

Pryor, J. E., & Pattison, R. (2014). Adolescents’ perceptions of parental conflict: The downside of silence. Journal of Family Studies, 13(1), 72-77. doi:10.5172/jfs.327.13.1.72

Rhoades, K. A. (2008). Children’s responses to inter-parental conflict: A meta?analysis of their associations with child adjustment. Child Development, 79(6), 1942-1956. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.20 08.01235.x

Rodríguez Ruíz, M. M., Carrasco, M. A., & Holgado-Tello, F. P. (2019). Father involvement and children’s psychological adjustment: Maternal and paternal acceptance as mediators. Journal of Family Studies, 25(2), 151-169. doi:10.1080/13229400.2016.1211549

Robbins, J. (2005). Contexts, collaboration, and cultural tools: A sociocultural perspective on researching children’s thinking. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 6(2), 140-149.

Shelton, K. H., Harold, G. T., Goeke-Morey, M. C., & Cummings, E. M. (2006). Children’s coping with marital conflict: The role of conflict expression and gender. Social Development, 15 (2), 232-247. doi:10.104 6/ j1467-9507.2006.00338.x

Shaw, B., Krause, N., Chatters, L., Connell, C., & Ingersoll-Dayton, B. (2003). Social structural influences on emotional support from parents early in life and adult health status. Behavioral Medicine, 29, 68-79. doi:10.1080/08964280309596059

Skeer, M., McCormick, M. C., Normand, S. L., Buka, S. L., & Gilman, S. E. (2009). A prospective study of familial conflict, psychological stress, and the development of substance use disorders in adolescence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 104(1-2), 65-72. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.0 3.017.

Smetana, J. G. (1989). Adolescents’ and parents’ reasoning about actual family conflict. Child Development, 60, 1052-1067. doi:10.2307/113077 9

Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 15-28. doi:10.2307/350547

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

Ulu, I. P., & Fisiloglu, H. (2004). A validity and reliability study of the Children’s Perceptions of Inter-parental Con?ict Scale. T¨urk Psikoloji Yazilari, 7, 61-75.

Vairami, M., & Vorria, P. (2007). Inter-parental con?ict and pre-adolescent’s peer relationships. Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 4, 257-280.

VanMeter, F., Handley, E. D., & Cicchetti, D. (2020). The role of coping strategies in the pathway between child maltreatment and internalizing and externalizing behaviours. Child Abuse & Neglect, 121, 1021-1029. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104323

Watkins, M. W. (2000). Monte Carlo PCA for parallel analysis [computer software]. Ed & Psych Associates.

Zhou, N., & Buehler, C. (2017). Marital hostility and early adolescents’ adjustment: The role of cooperative marital conflict. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 39(1), 5-27. doi:10.1177/0272431617725193