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02-10-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2020

The Guilt about Parenting Scale (GAPS): Development and Initial Validation of a Self-Report Measure of Parenting Guilt, and the Relationship between Parenting Guilt and Work and Family Variables

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2020
Divna Haslam, Ania Filus, Jules Finch
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Many parents anecdotally report experiencing parenting related guilt, yet no empirically validated general measures of parenting guilt exist. Researchers are therefore unable to fully examine this phenomenon. In this paper we outline the development and validation of the Guilt About Parenting Scale (GAPS) to address this need.


A convenience sample of parents (N = 290, 88% mothers, 12% fathers, Mage = 37.85, SD = 5.53) completed the draft GAPS measure along with a series of other well-validated measures. Using Structural Equation Modelling the final GAPS measure was derived, and tested within a model comprising a number of pertinent parenting factors.


Statistical analyses revealed a good fit of brief 10-item scale comprising a single parenting guilt factor (χ2 (35) = 65.59, p< 0.001; CFI = 0.960; SRMR = 0.041; RMSEA = 0.056, 90% CI [0.035, 0.077]) with good construct, convergent and concurrent validity, and strong internal consistency (α = 0.89, H = 0.89). We also tested the empirical utility of the new measure by examining the role of work and family conflict in predicting child maladjustment via parenting guilt, parental emotional adjustment, and parenting self-efficacy. Good support was found for the proposed model (χ2 (450) = 773.96, p< 0.001; CFI = 0.925; SRMR = 0.058; RMSEA = 0.049, 90% CI [0.043, 0.055]).


The results indicate the GAPS is a promising tool for the assessment of parenting guilt, and highlight the importance of including parenting guilt in models examining the influence of work and family conflict on family outcomes.

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