Peter L. Sheras, PhD, Richard R. Abidin, EdD. Professional Manual by Peter L. Sheras, PhD, Richard R. Abidin, EdD, Timothy R. Konold, PhD
The SIPA is a screening and diagnostic instrument that identifies areas of stress in parent-adolescent interactions and is appropriate for parents of adolescents ages 11-19 years. This upward extension of the popular Parenting Stress Index (PSI) for parents of children ages 1 month to 12 years allows a clinician or researcher to examine the relationship of parenting stress to adolescent characteristics, parent characteristics, the quality of the adolescent-parent interactions, and stressful life circumstances.
Four subscales measure adolescent characteristics:
- Moodiness/Emotional Lability
- Social Isolation/Withdrawal
- Failure to Achieve or Persevere
Four subscales measure parent characteristics:
- Life Restrictions
- Relationship with Spouse/Partner
- Social Alienation
The SIPA is useful for family counselling, forensic evaluations for adolescent custody, identification of dysfunctional parent-adolescent systems, prevention programs designed to reduce parental stress, and intervention and treatment planning in high stress areas. The SIPA was developed from a normative sample consisting of 778 parents of adolescents from the general population and a clinical sample of 159 parents of adolescents who had received a DSM-IV diagnosis, usually in the cluster of disruptive behaviour disorders.
Reliability and Validity
The SIPA is highly reliable. Internal consistency for the SIPA subscales exceeds .80 with the majority in the high .80s-.90. The alpha coefficients for the three SIPA domains (adolescent, parent, adolescent-parent relationship), and the Index of Total Parenting Stress exceed .90. The 4-week test-retest reliability coefficients for the subscales range from .74 to .91, suggesting that responses to SIPA responses remain stable over a period of time. Confidence intervals are provided in the SIPA Professional Manual.
Administration and Scoring
The 112 SIPA items are contained in the Reusable Item Booklet. Parents record their responses on a separate, carbonless, hand score Answer Sheet/Profile Form. Completion of the SIPA requires approximately 20 minutes and a 5th-grade reading level. Scoring the responses is easy: SIPA scores are plotted on the Profile Form (included as part of the Answer Sheet) and then converted to percentiles to compare the parent's scores to general population scores.
The SIPA Professional Manual provides information on materials, administration, scoring, interpretation, normative data, and psychometric characteristics. It contains information supporting the factor structure of the SIPA, as well as summaries of the reliability and the content, convergent and discriminant validity studies. The Appendix tables provide the raw score to percentile and raw score to T-score conversions.
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