Me as a Parent scale (MaaPs)
The Me as a Parent scale (MaaPs) is a 16-item measure made up of four subscales that underlie four features of parenting self-regulation. Parenting self-regulation represents the degree to which parents perceive themselves as competent and efficacious in their parenting role. Parenting self-regulation is a term that encompasses a range of parenting skills including the ability to independently problem solve, self-direct, and adapt to parenting challenges over time. 1,2,3
The four features of parenting self-regulation are self-efficacy (MaaPs questions 3, 11, 12, 15), personal agency (MaaPs questions 1, 4, 9, 16), self-sufficiency (MaaPs questions 2, 5, 7, 13) and self-management (MaaPs questions 6, 8, 10, 14).
- Download the MaaPs (PDF)
- To manually record scores on the MaaPs over time, complete this record sheet.
Why the MaaPs was developed
The MaaPs was developed by Parenting Research Centre to address a gap in the empirical measurement of parenting self-regulation and to provide a resource to capture parents’ self-perceived competence and efficacy for use in research and clinical applications. This information can be used to support the understanding of parenting self-regulation beliefs across a range of samples, to measure and predict parent and child wellbeing, and to understand the effectiveness of parenting programs where one of the targeted outcomes is improvement in parent confidence and self-efficacy.
Since its development, the MaaPs has been used in practice and research settings in several countries including Turkey, Pakistan, Belgium, Israel, Canada, the USA, England, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Portugal.
How to score the MaaPs
Once the parent or carer has filled in the MaaPs scale, change the personal agency scores (MaaPs questions 1, 4, 9, 16) by reversing them. For example, if a person scores ‘1’ on question 1, change this to a ‘5’. Do this for all personal agency questions. These scores will now be the new scores to be added to the total score.
- 1 becomes 5
- 2 becomes 4
- 3 stays as 3
- 4 is 2
- 5 is 1.
Then add up the scores for every subscale separately. Use the MaaPs record sheet to record totals. Totals for each subscale can range from 4 to 20.
Lastly, add up the subscale scores to obtain a total MaaPs score. This total score should range from 16 to 80.
How to interpret the MaaPs score
Based on a representative sample of Australian parents living in Victoria, Australia, in 2016 (N = 2535). Table 1 shows average scores on the MaaPs for a representative sample of Australian parents, depicting population norms (average) and standard deviations for parents of 0 to 2-year-olds, 3 to 5-year-olds, 6 to 12-year-olds, and parents of adolescents aged 13-18 years.
Table 1. MaaPs means and standard deviations in an Australian sample
Scores that are one standard deviation or more below the population mean may be viewed as a ‘low’ score and an indication that a parent has a lower than average perception of their parenting self-regulation compared to other parents. Table 2 depicts average and ‘low’ scores for parents by child age, while Table 3 depicts average and ‘low’ scores on parenting self-regulation subscales.
Table 2. Total MaaPs scores – mean (average) and ‘low’ scores
Table 3. MaaPs subscale scores – mean (average) and ‘low’ scores
Possible uses of the MaaPs
The MaaPs is not a psychological assessment tool, but it shows how parents are thinking about four aspects of their parenting confidence. Looking at both grouped and individual data may give an indication of whether perceptions of parenting confidence have increased over the period of program implementation.
When averaged for a group as a whole, the MaaPs may be useful as a measure of change in parenting self-regulation across time, for example as a pre-post measure in a parenting program.
When working with individuals, a ‘low’ Pre score may indicate a need to pay particular attention to how the parent views their efforts to use the intervention strategies. For a parent with a ‘low’ score, drawing their attention to their strengths and how their efforts contribute to changes observed in their child could be helpful in building their sense of confidence.
It is important to note that if parents’ scores are around the mean (average) at Pre, it is unlikely there will be major changes from Pre to Post.
- The Me as a Parent scale – Short Form (MaaPs-SF) is a four-item version of the MaaPs. This brief scale is derived from the above 16-item Me as a Parent scale (MaaPs)
- Read more about the Me as a Parent Scale – Short Form in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.