Factor Structure of the Children's Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale for Studies of Youths With Externalizing Behavior Problems

Joel T. Nigg, Molly Nikolas, Torri Miller, S. Alexandra Burt, Kelly L. Klump, Alexander von Eye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The assessment of children's perception of marital conflict is an important area of research related to family relations, children's cognitions about self, and the development of psychopathology. The leading instrument in this domain is the Children's Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale (CPIC; J. H. Grych, M. Seid, & F. D. Fincham, 1992). It has 48 items organized into 9 conceptual designed subscales, with reports of 3-factor higher order structure to the 9 subscales. However, the 3-factor solution does not capture all 9 subscales well. Further, items have never been subjected to factor analysis to evaluate the best fitting factor structure at the item level. Doing so is particularly important when bringing the scale into new populations such as children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or disruptive behavior disorders. In the present study, 2 samples of children (total N = 1,190; ages 6-18 years) completed the CPIC. An exploratory factor analysis in Sample 1 (from a clinical study of ADHD and non-ADHD youths) yielded 4 interpretable factors. A confirmatory factor analysis in Sample 2 (a population sample of twins) confirmed the generalizability of the solution with an acceptable fit, although 1 item was dropped. The final solution used 38 of the 48 items. The 4-factor solution captured a Conflict Properties factor, two appraisal factors labeled Threat to Self and Self-Blame, and a Triangulation/Stability factor that included elements of appraisal and content. The authors concluded that the item-based 4-factor solution to the CPIC is preferable to the 9-factor or 3-factor formulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-456
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • child perception
  • disruptive behavior
  • factor analysis
  • marital conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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