Positive Discipline Parenting Scale: Reliability and Validity of a Measure


Positive Discipline is a type of parenting program based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolph Dreikurs and designed to teach important life skills in a manner that is respectful and encouraging. It is based on the best-selling books by Dr. Jane Nelsen and coauthors Lynn Lott, Cheryl Erwin, and others. These books and Positive Discipline parenting are firmly rooted in Adlerian psychology, which emphasizes the goal of belonging and significance in all individuals, and the need for kindness and firmness in parenting children. In previous research, a 7-item measure was adapted to represent some of the most emphasized aspects of Positive Discipline. This measure, the Positive Discipline Parenting Scale (PDPS), was found to have a sustained increase following 7-week parenting workshops. In this study, we examine the reliability and validity of the scale using an initial community sample (n = 107), and an online Internet sample (n = 123). Factor loadings and reliability were examined in both samples, as well as convergent and divergent validity. The measure was found to be positively correlated with authoritative parenting style and parental sense of reward, and negatively correlated with authoritarian style and parental stress. The measure may be useful as a tool for program evaluation, or for assessing a theoretical relationship between Positive Discipline style parenting and other variables of interest.