Development of a Brief Coparenting Measure: The Coparenting Competence Scale

Chris May, Codie Atherton, Kim Colyvas, Vincent Mancini, Linda E. Campbell

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Coparenting competence (CC) is a concept that describes the sense of collective efficacy that parents experience in raising children. An advantage of CC is that it bridges a gap between family systems thinking and efficacy theory, where extant research and theory have focused on the self-efficacy of one or both parents. This study aimed to develop a self-reported measure of CC. Methodology: Participants (n = 302), including cohabiting mothers (n = 240) and fathers (n = 62), completed an online survey (112 items) comprising demographic questions, the Coparenting Relationship Scale (CRS), the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC), the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and 36 items designed to explore perceptions of CC. Results: Factor analyses on 36-CC items identified 10 items that reliably formed a brief Coparenting Competence Scale (CCS; Alpha = 0.89). Analysis of convergent and divergent validity demonstrated that the CCS measures a unique construct that is linked to parenting self-efficacy, measured by PSOC (r = 0.47), and coparenting quality, assessed by the CRS (r = 0.63). There was a significant association between CCS and SDQ across age groups and an association stronger than that found for the CRS and SDQ in the current cohort. Conclusions and Implications: The study found support for the reliability and validity of the CCS. Coparenting competence, assessed by the CCS, was found to be distinct from factors previously used to represent coparenting quality in multivariate scales. The strength of associations between the CCS and SDQ suggests this new measure may have an important role in coparenting research. © 2023 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6322
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


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