Parents' socioemotional investment in children

Robert H. Bradley, Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, Judith A. Brisby, Bettye M. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Parental Investment in Children (PIC) is a 24-item questionnaire designed to assess parents' socioemotional investment in their children. PIC is composed of four scales: Acceptance of the Parenting Role, Delight, Knowledge/Sensitivity, and Separation Anxiety. Assessment of this type of investment is important because there is limited research on the parent's side of the attachment system and because the attitudes and behaviors that represent parental investment may be central targels of parental education and guidance programs. This study evaluates the reliability and validity of PIC in a sample of 137 mothers of 15-month-old children. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the four scales were internally consistent. Results also indicated from moderate to high test-retest reliability and substantial evidence of construct validity. For purposes of this study, PIC scores were related to scores on the quality of caregiving, social support, the quality of marital relationships, maternal depression, neuroticism, and agreeableness, maternal separation anxiety, parenting stress, and child difficulty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Attachment
  • Bonding
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Home environment
  • Parenting
  • Separation anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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