Portuguese version of the Parent Cognition Scale (PCS): measuring parental attributions about children’s misbehavior

Mariana Fernandes*, Isabel Narciso, Marta Pedro, Magda Sofia Roberto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The Parent Cognition Scale (PCS) is a self-report measure that assesses the level of dysfunction in parental attributional style, regarding child-responsible and parent-causal attributions for their children’s misbehavior. This study aims to validate the PCS to the Portuguese context and to examine the factorial structure of this instrument. Methods: The PCS is composed of 30 items and organized in 2 subscales: dysfunctional child-responsible and dysfunctional parent-causal attributions. Using a convenience sampling strategy, data were collected from 445 participants (317 mothers and 128 fathers) with children aged 3–12 years. Results: Results replicated the original structure of the scale and indicated an acceptable fit of the first order model, allowing the use of the 2 subscales. The final scale demonstrated an invariance across parents’ gender and economic and social situation. Good levels of internal consistency indicated that the scale is an appropriate measure. Conclusions: The Portuguese version of the instrument is suitable for mothers and fathers within distinct economic and social situations. Some relevant contributions of the present study are highlighted, namely the need of studying and assessing parental attributions in clinical samples and particularly with at-risk parents within economic and social disadvantage contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-667
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Children’s adjustment
  • Dysfunctional child-responsible attributions
  • Dysfunctional parent-causal attributions
  • Parent cognition
  • Self-report measure


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