A recent study published in Psychreg Journal of Psychology has successfully developed and validated a Dutch version of the Parental Stress Scale (PSS), an 18-item self-report questionnaire designed to measure parental stress. The original English version was translated into Dutch using a forward-backward method.
The study sought to measure both positive and negative aspects of parental stress. The participants, randomly selected parents with at least one child under the age of 19 living at home, were recruited through various online forums, professional networks, and social media. Participants completed both the Dutch translation of the PSS and the Opvoedingsbelasting Vragenlijst (Parenting burdening Questionnaire, OBVL) through an online platform.
A key element of the study was the focus on Lazarus’s (1966) definition of stress, which occurs when individuals perceive themselves unable to cope with demands or threats to their well-being. Parental stress was thus defined as an imbalance between parenting requirements and what parents can offer in their role.
Statistical analysis of the 198 completed questionnaires revealed the translated PSS has good reliability. The two-factor model comprised of “parental stress” and “parental satisfaction” was also confirmed, although it was shortened to 15 items. The Dutch translation of the PSS correlated strongly with the OBVL scores, supporting construct validity. However, concerns were raised regarding the “parental satisfaction” factor which had more than 50% of the variance due to error.
A significant gender difference in PSS scores was noted, with females reporting higher levels of stress compared to males. Additionally, a positive correlation was found between parental age and PSS score, while the number of children and parental education level showed no significant correlations.
The Dutch translation of the PSS proves to be a reliable and comprehensive tool to measure parental stress, offering a more freely available alternative to the OBVL. The 15-item questionnaire covers both the positive and negative aspects of parenthood, reflecting the complex nature of the parenting role. Despite concerns about the “Parental satisfaction” factor, this tool’s potential for widespread use in the Dutch-speaking population remains promising.
It’s important to note, however, that the items excluded in the Dutch version differed from those omitted in other translations of the PSS. These variations may stem from language-specific nuances, emphasizing the importance of cultural and linguistic considerations in psychometric translations.
This study marks a significant step in expanding the resources available to assess and address parental stress, contributing to a broader understanding of this complex and universal experience. As the impact of parental stress on both parents and children becomes more widely recognised, reliable measures like the PSS are crucial in facilitating effective interventions and support.
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