The Coparenting Relationship Scale (CRS)

Background:

The Coparenting Relationship Scale (CRS) is based on the conceptual framework of coparenting developed by Feinberg (2003). This framework included four overlapping domains: childrearing agreement, co-parental support/undermining, division of labor, and joint management of family dynamics. Feinberg (2003) proposed that coparenting plays a central role in family life and provides essential support and security for parents and children. Research has also found that a relationship exists between coparenting relations and parenting quality. The CRS was designed as a comprehensive self-report measure of the quality of coparenting in a family. It is comprised of 35 items and seven subscales. The subscales are: Coparenting Agreement, Coparenting Closeness, Exposure to Conflict, Coparenting Support, Coparenting Undermining, Endorse Partner Parenting, and Divison of Labor.  The instrument is ideal for further examining the role of coparenting in diverse family contexts.

Psychometrics:

Feinberg and colleagues (2012) provide information on the psychometric properties of the instrument.

Author of Tool:

Feinberg, Brown, & Kan

Key references:

Feinberg, M. E., Brown, L. D., & Kan, M. L. (2012). A multi-domain self-report measure of coparenting. Parenting12, 1-21

Feinberg, M. E. (2003). The internal structure and ecological context of coparenting:  A framework for research and intervention. Parenting: Science and Practice, 3, 95-131.

Primary use / Purpose:

The CRS was developed to measure coparenting quality.

The Coparenting Relationship Scale

For each item, select the response that best describes the way you and your partner work together as parents:

0123456
Not true of usA little bit true of usSomewhat true of usVery true of us
1I believe my partner is a good parent.
2My relationship with my partner is stronger now than before we had a child.
3My partner asks my opinion on issues related to parenting.
4My partner pays a great deal of attention to our child.
5My partner likes to play with our child and then leave dirty work to me. (R)
6My partner and I have the same goals for our child.
7My partner still wants to do his or her own thing instead of being a responsible parent. (R)
8It is easier and more fun to play with the child alone than it is when my partner is present too.
9My partner and I have different ideas about how to raise our child. (R)
10My partner tells me I am doing a good job or otherwise lets me know I am being a good parent.
11My partner and I have different ideas regarding our child’s eating, sleeping, and other routines. (R)
12My partner sometimes makes jokes or sarcastic comments about the way I am as a parent.
13My partner does not trust my abilities as a parent.
14My partner is sensitive to our child's feelings and needs.
15My partner and I have different standards for our child’s behavior. (R)
16My partner tries to show that she or he is better than me at caring for our child.
17I feel close to my partner when I see him or her play with our child.
18My partner has a lot of patience with our child.
19We often discuss the best way to meet our child’s needs.
20My partner does not carry his or her fair share of the parenting work. (R)
21When all three of us are together, my partner sometimes competes with me for our child’s attention.
22My partner undermines my parenting.
23My partner is willing to make personal sacrifices to help take care of our child.
24We are growing and maturing together through experiences as parents.
25My partner appreciates how hard I work at being a good parent.
26When I'm at my wits end as a parent, partner gives me extra support I need.
27My partner makes me feel like I'm best possible parent for our child.
28The stress of parenthood has caused my partner and me to grow apart. (R)
29My partner doesn't like to be bothered by our child. (R)
30Parenting has given us a focus for the future.

These questions ask you to describe things you do when both you and your partner are physically present together with your child (i.e. in the same room, in the car, on outings).

Count only times when all three of you are actually within the company of one another (even if this is just a few hours per week).

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Never Sometimes Often Very Often

(once or twice (once a day) (several times

a week) a day)

How often in a typical week, when all 3 of you are together, do you:
31Find yourself in a mildly tense or sarcastic interchange with your partner?
32Argue with your partner about your child, in the child’s presence?
33Argue about your relationship or marital issues unrelated to your child, in the child’s presence?
34One or both of you say cruel or hurtful things to each other in front of the child?
35Yell at each other within earshot of the child?

(R) = Reverse score the item

Scale creation:

Coparenting Agreement = Items 6, 9, 11, 15

Coparenting Closeness = Items 2, 17, 24, 28, 30

Exposure to Conflict = Items 31-35

Coparenting Support = Items 3, 10, 19, 25, 26, 27

Coparenting Undermining = Items 8, 12, 13, 16, 21, 22

Endorse Partner Parenting = Items 1, 4, 7, 14, 18, 23, 29

Division of Labor = Items 5, 20

Brief Measure of Coparenting:

Items 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 16, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 33, 34

Sources of items:

Abidin & Bruner, 1995: 1,4,6,17,23

Cordova, 2001: 10,12,16

Frank et al., 1988: 5,7,13,18, 24, 25, 26, 27,30

Margolin, 1992: 3,15,22,29,34

McHale, 1997: 31,32,33

Original: 2,8,9,11,18,19,20,21, 28,35