The Brief Parental Self Efficacy Scale (BPSES) is a short, 5-item measure of parental self-efficacy that can be completed by parents or carers of children and young people.

Terms of use

The BPSES is free to use. It is also one of the measures covered by the NHS Digital Copyright Licensing Service.



The BPSES is a parent/carer report of parental self-efficacy.

We are not currently aware of any evidence regarding the accessibility of this measure for parents or carers with learning disabilities.

To our knowledge no study has been published regarding the suitability of the measure across different ethnic or linguistic groups.

Please do get in touch at CORC@annafreud.org if you are aware of any information that may be of interest to users of the measure as we may be able to update our webpage to include it.


The questionnaire takes between five and ten minutes to administer and can be administered by a range of professionals with or without clinical expertise, including social workers, family and community workers.

Attention should be made to how the questionnaire is introduced and explained to parents to avoid feelings of judgement or shame.

While there are no available guidelines or data for clinical cut-off ratings, scores can be used to measure change over time, such as pre and post intervention and to initiate explorative conversations (see Other Resources for more information).

Working remotely

An electronically editable version of the PDF can be downloaded here.

If you work remotely with your service user and have access to the PDF version of the questionnaire:

  • The free Adobe Acrobat Reader does have commenting tools that allow you to add, circle or highlight text and then save the PDF with these 'comments'.
  • If you are a practitioner going through the questionnaire verbally online and can share screen, we feel it works well for the child or young person to be able to see you edit the questionnaire as you go through it.
  • The questionnaire can also be edited this way at the service user’s end, although do experiment with this yourself to check its suitability for those you work with - not everyone will find this equally user-friendly and practice or advice may help.

For more information of working remotely with outcome measures, please read our guide here.

Scoring & Interpretation

Responses to the five items are coded as follows:

Strongly disagree = 1

Disagree = 2

Neutral = 3

Agree = 4

Strongly agree = 5

A total score is then calculated by summing all five items, and ranges from 5 to 25. Higher scores indicated higher levels of parental self-efficacy.

Psychometric properties




Internal consistency

Degree to which similar items within a scale correlate with each other.

Preliminary evidence suggests the BPSES may have good internal consistency (Woolgar, et al. unpublished data).

Construct validity

Degree to which the questionnaire actually measures the specific trait or attribute it is intended to measure.

No evidence is currently available.

Test-retest reliability

Degree to which the same respondents have the same score after period of time when trait shouldn't have changed.

No evidence is currently available.

Concurrent validity

Correlation of the measure with others measuring same concept.

No evidence is currently available.

Discriminant validity

Lack of correlation with opposite concepts.

No evidence is currently available.


CORC is not aware of any translations for this measure. Please contact the developer of the measure (Matt Woolgar, matt.woolgar@kcl.ac.uk) to help you with this inquiry.

Other resources

Two papers describe how the BPSES was used to monitor and report change in parental self-efficacy over the course of their respective interventions:


Woolgar, M., Humayun, S., Scott, S., & Dadds, M. (unpublished data). A new brief parenting efficacy scale.

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