The parenting sense of competence scale: Evidence of a stable factor structure and validity

Jeneva L. Ohan, Debbie W. Leung, Charlotte Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

281 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, 110 mothers and 110 fathers of 5-to 12-year-old boys and girls completed the Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC) scale and measures of child behaviour, parenting style, and marital satisfaction. We replicated the factor structure of the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale produced by Johnston and Mash (1989), and provided evidence that the Satisfaction and Efficacy scales from this measure assess distinct aspects of parenting self-esteem. Interestingly, parents of girls reported higher Efficacy scores than parents of boys. To address the validity of the PSOC scale, we calculated partial correlations between Efficacy and Satisfaction PSOC scores and other measures of family functioning, controlling for the shared variance between the two scales. Significant small-to-moderate size correlations were found between parents' reports of both internalizing and externalizing child problems and Satisfaction scores, but correlations with Efficacy scores were generally small and nonsignificant, particularly for mothers. We also found that mothers and fathers who reported a more easy-going, low-conflict parenting style were more satisfied in parenting; for mothers, a similar relationship was found for parenting efficacy. In addition, Satisfaction scores shared a small but significant amount of variance with mother-father agreements in parenting style, as well as marital satisfaction. Implications of the findings for the use of the Parenting Sense of Competence scale are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Behavioural Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


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