Parent-School Communities Questionnaire

Wiener, W. K. (1975). Measuring school boundary permeability. Paper presented at the New England Educational Re- search Association. ERIC ED 125 052.


The 50-item Parent-School Communities Questionnaire (PSCQ) was designed to measure the permeability of school boundaries. The concept of permeability assumes that any social system, such as a school, is surrounded by a psychological boundary that insulates it from its environment. The degree to which this boundary is permeable to input from outside the system is directly proportional to the openness of the system.

Scale Construction:

Originally, the PSCQ consisted of 50 descriptive statements that respondents were asked to rate on a five-point Likert scale. The original factor analysis yielded dimensions dealing with the process parents used to contact school personnel; attempts by school personnel to contact parents; parental perceptions of the character of the school organization; and a dimension relevant to the quality and nature of parent-teacher interactions.


The first analysis was based on a sample of 500 parents taken from three elementary schools. The feedback from this study prompted a second factor analysis with 278 parent responses.


Interviews were conducted with a known-group of parents to determine the degree of correspondence between the parents interview comments and those items coded on the questionnaire.

Factor Analysis:

The result of the second factor analysis—a principal axis analysis with a varimax rotation—produced three interpretable factors. The criterion for acceptance of items on a given factor was 0.500.

Definition of Factors:

The three factors are: Teacher-parent interactions, which deals with the quality of interactions between parent and teacher; Parent-principal interactions, which is concerned with the quality of interactions between the parent and the school administration; and Accessibility, which refers to parents perceptions of the mechanics in- volved in making contact with the school.


Wiener, W. K., and Blumberg, A. (1973). The Parent School Communications Questionnaire: A measure of school boundary perme- ability. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association. ERIC ED 075 916.

The Parent-School Communications Questionnaire: A Measure of School Boundary Permeability

Factor I: Mechanical

1. If my youngster is having a problem in school, the best way to contact the teacher is in writing rather than by phone.
2. Before talking with a teacher, I feel that I must first contact the principal.
3. It is difficult to get in touch with a teacher on the phone.
4. It is difficult to get in touch with the principal on the phone.
5. In order for me to see my youngster’s teacher, I need only stop in at the school office without prior contact and ask.
6. In order for me to see the principal, I need only stop in at the school office without prior contact and ask.
7. The school secretary will forward my message to the principal or the teacher.

Factor II: Outreach

8. My youngster’s teacher contacts me personally when something goes wrong with his work.
9. My youngster’s teacher contacts me personally when his work has been progressing particularly well.
10. The principal takes initiative in contacting parents about school matters.
11. The principal encourages parents to contact teachers about their children’s school activities.
12. Teachers resist attending parentteacher functions.
13. Teachers cooperate willingly with the parent group in discussing school issues.
14. Parent nights at school are events which I feel are useful and instructive.
15. Parents have a standing invitation to visit their youngster’s classes with a few days notice.
16. After I have met with my youngster’s teacher concerning a problem, the teacher contacts me with the follow-up information about the situation.
17. Ample notice is given by the school to inform me about parent organizational functions.
18. Most communications from the school are impersonal in tone.

Factor III: Organizational Climate

19. Teachers see parents as a nuisance.
20. Teachers seem threatened by parents who ask questions.
21. Teachers are friendly and warm in their communications with parents.
22. When I walk into my youngster’s classroom, I feel uncomfortable.
23. When I walk into the school, I sense a friendly warm atmosphere.
24. Teachers in the school like parents to contact them about their child.
25. Teachers do not think highly of the parent organization of the school.
26. The atmosphere at parentteacher gatherings is strained and tense.
27. Teachers in the school are willing to listen to negative things I have to say about what is going on in school.
28. The principal is a limiting force on parent organization activities.
29. The principal actively supports the parent organization.

Factor IV: Interpersonal Climate

30. I like to talk about my youngster’s work with his teacher.
31. My youngster likes me to see his teacher on his behalf.
32. The principal sees parents as being a nuisance.
33. When I get a notice from a teacher that he wants to see me about my youngster, I feel tense.
34. When I talk with my youngster’s teacher, I feel he is holding back information I would like to have.
35. When I talk to the principal, I feel that he is evasive.
36. I have no hesitancy at all about contacting a teacher about my youngster’s work in school.
37. The principal is willing to listen to negative things I have to say about what’s going on in the school.
38. If I complain to a teacher about my youngster’s negative reaction to his teaching, I am afraid that teacher will act negatively toward my youngster.
39. The principal sees parents as a source to help him.
40. I feel free to stop and chat with teachers in the school.
41. The school secretary is helpful to me when I visit the school.

Factor V: Influences

42. Parent groups have no real influence on the school.
43. I feel that when I talk with the principal, I make an impact on him.
44. I feel that when I talk with my youngster’s teacher, it makes an impression on him.
45. I trust the principal to communicate parental concerns to the teachers.
46. The principal only responds to pressure from a group of parents, not individuals.
47. Teachers seem to pay attention to parents.
48. The principal pays attention to parents.
49. The principal actively uses the parent organization to help in solving school problems.
50. I am made to feel that I as a parent, and not the school, must make all the changes to solve a problem.


A five-point Likert scale ranging from “this is always true” = 5, to “this is never true” = 1.