Assessing Children’s Responses to Interparental Conflict: Validation and Short Scale Development of SIS and CPIC-Properties Scales

  • Tonje HoltEmail author
  • Maren Sand Helland
  • Kristin Gustavson
  • Edward Mark Cummings
  • Anh Ha
  • Espen Røysamb


The Children’s Perception of the Interparental Conflict Scale (CPIC) and The Security in the Interparental Subsystem (SIS) are two widely used scales capturing (a) children’s perception of the interparental conflict properties and (b) children’s reactions to the conflict. The aims of this study were to validate the part of CPIC measuring children’s perception of the conflict (CPIC-properties) and a modified SIS-version in a Scandinavian context and to develop concise short versions of the scales. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were used to analyze the underlying factor structure of the full and short versions of the scales in a sample of N = 393 children and youth aged 10–15 years old (M age = 11.1, SD = 0.5; 52.2% girls). Regression analyses were used in creating the short scales and in investigating the predictive strengths of the short versions. The full and short versions of the CPICproperties and the modified SIS had excellent fit according to a two level model (CPICproperties) and a three-level model (modified SIS). The CPIC-properties was reduced from 25 items to 17 items and the modified SIS was reduced from 38 items to 17 items. The internal consistencies of both long and short versions were satisfactory. The predictive strengths of the short subscales were comparable to the full subscales’. The findings support the validity of the full and short versions of the CPIC-properties and the modified SIS. The advantages of the short versions are discussed; these scales should be validated in future studies.


Interparental conflict Children’s reactions and perceptions Confirmatory factor analysis Short scale development 


Funding Information

This study was funded by the The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs and the Research Council of Norway (grant number: 250642)

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics and Consent Statement

The Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics “REC” in Norway approved the study (Protocol number: 2015/1374). Participation in the study was voluntary and both parents had to provide a written informed consent in order to let their children participate. The children were provided information about the study in a separate letter.

Supplementary material

10802_2019_586_MOESM1_ESM.docx (57 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 57 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Mental & Physical healthNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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