Authoritative Parenting Index


The Authoritative Parenting Index (API) is a 16-item self-report questionnaire that measures authoritative parenting behavior. Authoritative parenting is a parenting style that is characterized by high levels of both demandingness and responsiveness. Demanding parents set clear expectations for their children’s behavior and enforce those expectations consistently. Responsive parents are warm, supportive, and responsive to their children’s needs.


The API has good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and interrater reliability. Internal consistency refers to the extent to which the items on a scale measure the same construct. Test-retest reliability refers to the extent to which a scale measures the same construct over time. Interrater reliability refers to the extent to which different raters agree on how a person scores on a scale.


The API has good construct validity, concurrent validity, and predictive validity. Construct validity refers to the extent to which a scale measures the construct that it is intended to measure. Concurrent validity refers to the extent to which a scale correlates with other measures of the same construct. Predictive validity refers to the extent to which a scale can predict future outcomes.

The API has been shown to be a valid measure of authoritative parenting behavior. It has been shown to correlate with other measures of authoritative parenting, such as the Parenting Styles Questionnaire (PSQ) and the Iowa Parenting Style Scale (IPSS). The API has also been shown to predict positive outcomes for children, such as high self-esteem, good academic achievement, and prosocial behavior.

The API is a useful tool for assessing authoritative parenting behavior in a variety of settings, including clinical, research, and educational settings. It can be used to diagnose parenting problems, assess the effectiveness of parenting interventions, and track changes in parenting behavior over time. The API can also be used to develop parenting interventions that promote authoritative parenting.

Authoritative Parenting Index (API)


1. She is always telling me what to do.
2. She makes rules without asking what I think.
3. She makes me feel better when I am upset.
4. She is too busy to talk to me.
5. She listens to what I have to say.
6. She likes me just the way I am.
7. She tells me when I do a good job on things.
8. She wants to hear about my problem.
9. She is pleased with how I behave.


1. She has rules that I must follow.
2. She tells me times when I must come home.
3. She makes sure I tell her where I am going.
4. She makes sure I go to bed on time.
5. She asks me what I do with friends.
6. She knows where I am after school.
7. She checks to see if I do my homework.
Note. Students who do not live with their mother or father are asked to answer the questions for their grandmother‚ aunt or other adult with whom they live. When used with younger children (grades 3-5)‚ an oversized mock up of the scale is used to show children how to mark their choice. When used with adolescents‚ “kids” is replaced with “students” in the instructions.
  • Responsiveness
  • Demandingness
This instrument can be found on pages 282-283 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at:
Point values are assigned as follows:
Just like=4
A lot like=3
Sort of like=2
Not like=1
Point values are assigned as indicated above. Items for Responsiveness should be reverse coded. Point values for all items are summed. Intended range is 16 to 64‚ with high scores indicating a high level of authoritative parenting behavior.

Jackson C‚ Henriksen L‚ Foshee VA. The authoritative parenting index: predicting health risk behaviors among children and adolescents. Health Education & Behavior 1998;25(3):321-339..