Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 3200–3217 | Cite as

Development and Validation of the Knowledge of Parenting Strategies Scale: Measuring Effective Parenting Strategies

  • Jessica J. L. KirkmanEmail author
  • Mark R. Dadds
  • David J. Hawes
Original Paper


The current study aimed to develop and evaluate a measure of parenting knowledge, the Knowledge of Parenting Strategies Scale (KOPSS); specifically, to establish the scales internal reliability, ensure a clinically appropriate length, provide a community sample for future comparison, demonstrate adequate test–retest reliability and convergent validity, and to compare the scale to dysfunctional discipline styles. A total of n = 865 parents were involved in the development and evaluation of the scale. In Study 1, data was collected from n = 229 parents and Rasch analyses revealed seven items did not fit the measurement model. Study 2 involved a further sample of community families (n = 346) and revealed the scale could be further shortened to 16 items. Study 3 revealed the scale has good test–retest reliability over a one-week period (r = .88, p < .001). Study 4 demonstrated convergent validity through a comparison to the Knowledge of Effective Parenting Scale (r = .583, p = .009). Study 5 utilised a sample of community families (n = 190), revealing the scale was negatively correlated with hostile and lax discipline (r = −.29, p < .001; r = −.15, p < .05). Lastly, Study 6 showed scores on the KOPSS significantly improved following clinic-based and Internet-based Behavioural Parent Training. The KOPSS was found to be a valid and reliable measure of parenting knowledge of effective parenting strategies, which can be used to evaluate knowledge acquisition in parenting programs, and test the role of knowledge in behaviour change.


Parenting knowledge Parenting competence Effective parenting Child behaviour 



This study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC Partnership Grant APP1056878 with Royal Far West 2013–2017).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Development and Validation of the Knowledge of Parenting Strategies Scale: Measuring Effective Parenting Strategies

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

J. J. L. K. declares that she has no conflict of interest. M. R. D. and D. J. H. own copyright and benefit financially from the sales of the clinic-based manualised parent training program referred to in study six.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica J. L. Kirkman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark R. Dadds
    • 2
  • David J. Hawes
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyThe University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

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