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PSQ - Parental Support Questionnaire

The 19-item PSQ assesses parents' cognitions and perceptions regarding the degree and kind of support they provide to their child following the discovery of sexual abuse. The measure yields a total score and scores on Support and Blame subscales.




Mannarino, A. P., & Cohen, J. A.

Mannarino, A. P., & Cohen, J. A. (1996). Family-related variables and psychological symptom formation in sexually abused girls. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 5(1), 105-120.

Contact Information: 
Domain Assessed: 
Services and Systems
Measure Type: 
General Assessment
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
Response Format: 

5-point scale: 0=never to 5=always

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainsScaleSample Items
SupportHave you encouraged your child to tell you how she feels about the sexual abuse?
Have you tried to make your child feel safe and secure since she reported the sexual abuse?
BlameDo you ever think your child could have stopped the sexual abuse if she wanted to?
Have you criticized or punished your child for anything she did (or didn't do) regarding the abuse?
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Administer: 
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Parallel Forms: 
Alternate Forms: 
Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 


Clinical Cutoffs: 
Test-Retest-# days:Acceptable0.70.830.79
Internal ConsistencyAcceptable0.70.730.72
Parallel/Alternate Forms
References for Reliability: 

Mannarino & Cohen (1996) report pilot data for 50 sexually abused girls aged 7-12. Internal consistency: .73 for Support and .70 for Blame subscales. Test-retest reliability (time period not specified): Support (.70 ), Blame (.83 ), Full Scale (.82).

Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to Change
Intervention EffectsYesYes
Longitudinal/Maturation Effects
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct Groups
Factorial Validity
References for Construct Validity: 

Studies that have examined the relation between PSQ scores and other measures of child functioning have somewhat contradictory results. Although Mannarino & Cohen (1996) report significant correlations with the Weekly Behavior Report Scores, they found no significant correlations with measures of child symptomatology (Children's Depression Inventory, State Trait Anxiety Inventory-STAIC, Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, Child Sexual Behavior Inventory, CBCL). However, a later study found that PSQ support and total scores were negatively correlated with STAIC State scores, and PSI Blame and Total scores were negatively related to scores on the CDI (Cohen & Mannarino,

In regression analyses that first accounted for intake scores, abuse-related variables, and demographic variables (age, gender, race, school placement, family composition), 6-month follow-up PSQ scores contributed additional variance to the prediction of 6-month CBCL Social Competence, Externalizing, and Total scores. Posttest PSQ scores contributed additional variance to the prediction of 6-month Weekly Behavior Report scores (Cohen & Mannarino, 1998).

The PSQ has been found to be sensitive to change due to treatment, with parents of children treated with Trauma-Focused CBT showing greater changes than did parents of children treated using non-directive supportive therapy (Cohen, Deblinger, Mannarino, & Steer, 2004).

Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:Yes
Postdictive Validity:
Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

1. Psychometrics are limited but promising. More research is needed.
2. Additional testing of the psychometrics is being conducted by the authors and colleagues.



Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

(Mannarino & Cohen, 1996)
Pilot data were gathered on parents of 50 sexually abused girls aged 7-12. No demographic data were provided. Psychometrics were examined with female caregivers of 77 sexually abused girls who were referred to treatment within 6 months of the most recent sexual abuse incident. Girls
were aged 7-10 (M=10); 48% were African American or bi-racial. No other demographics were provided on mothers or girls (Cohen & Mannarino, 1996).

Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Sexual Abuse

Pros & Cons/References


1. Psychometrics are promising, especially the ability of the measure to detect change related to treatment and to detect differences between two treatments.
2. The measure is brief and easy to complete.
3. The measure is free.


1. The measure is psychometrically young. More research is needed examining its psychometrics, its use by other researchers, and its use with ethnically diverse populations.


A PsychInfo literature search (6/05) for "Parental Support Questionnaire" or "PSQ"
anywhere revealed that the measure has been referenced in1 peer-reviewed journal article.
An additional 3 articles were identified while reviewing the literature.

1. Cohen, J. A., Deblinger, E., Mannarino, A. P., & Steer, R. A. (2004). A multisite,
randomized controlled trial for children with sexual abuse-related PTSD symptoms. Journal
of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 43(4), 393-402.

2. Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (2000). Predictors of treatment outcome in sexually
abused children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(7), 983-994.

3. Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (1998). Factors that mediate treatment outcome of
sexually abused preschool children: Six- and 12-month follow-up. Journal of the American
Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(1), 44-51.

4. Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (1996). Factors that mediate treatment outcome of
sexually abused preschool children. Journal of the American Academy of Child &
Adolescent Psychiatry, 35(10), 1402-1410.

Developer of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Thursday, January 23, 2014