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Social Services Northern Ireland Fermanagh Help Message Board Parenting Daily Hassles, Assessment Form

Parenting Daily Hassles

Name of Child:

Completed by:

Relationship to child:


Parenting Daily Hassles SCALE

Parenting Daily Hassles SCALE

The statements below describe a lot of events that routinely occur in families with young children. These events sometimes make life difficult. Please read each item and circle how often it happens to you (rarely, sometimes, a lot, or constantly) and then circle how much of a ‘hassle’ you feel that it has been for you FOR THE PAST 6 MONTHS. If you have more than one child, these events can include any or all of your children.

EVENT How often it happens Hassle (low to high)

1. Continually cleaning up messes of toys or food Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

2. Being nagged, whined at, complained to Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

3. Meal-time difficulties with picky eaters, complaining etc. Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

4. The kids won’t listen or do what they are asked without being Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5 nagged

5. Baby-sitters are hard to find Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

6. The kids schedules (like pre-school or other activities) interfere Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5 with meeting your own household needs

7. Sibling arguments or fights require a ‘referee’ Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

8. The kids demand that you entertain them or play with them Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

9. The kids resist or struggle with you over bed-time Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

10. The kids are constantly underfoot, interfering with other chores Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

11. The need to keep a constant eye on where the kids are and Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5 what they are doing

12. The kids interrupt adult conversations or interactions Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

13. Having to change your plans because of unprecedented Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5 child needs

14. The kids get dirty several times a day requiring changes of clothing Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

15. Difficulties in getting privacy (eg. in the bathroom) Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

16. The kids are hard to manage in public (grocery store, shopping Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5 centre, restaurant)

17. Difficulties in getting kids ready for outings and leaving on time Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

18. Difficulties in leaving kids for a night out or at school or day care Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

19. The kids have difficulties with friends (eg. fighting, trouble, Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5 getting along, or no friends available)

20. Having to run extra errands to meet the kids needs Rarely Sometimes A lot Constantly 1 2 3 4 5

Questionnaire completed by mother/father/adoptive parent/foster carer (please specify) PARENTING DAILY HASSLES 1b

© Copyright ISBN 0 11 322426 5 PARENTING DAILY HASSLES 2a

Parenting Daily Hassles



19. (a) The challenging behaviour total score is obtained by adding the intensity scale scores for items: 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16. Range: 0–35.

(b) The parenting tasks total score is obtained by adding the intensity scale scores for items: 1, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20. Range: 0–40

20. There is no cut off for any of the scales but total scores above 50 on the frequency scale or above 70 on the intensity scale indicate on the one hand a high frequency of potentially hassling happenings, and on the other that the parent is experiencing significant pressure over parenting.

21. Events occurring with frequency 3 or 4, or intensity 4 or 5, particularly those where the parent rates high intensity or impact, should be discussed to clarify the extent of need.

22. The total score on the challenging behaviour and parenting tasks scales may be useful in indicating how the parent/caregiver sees the situation, whether difficulties lie in the troublesome behaviour of the children, or the burden of meeting the ‘expected’ or ‘legitimate’ needs of the children. The subscores may also be useful in monitoring change.


Crnic KA & Greenberg MT (1990) Minor parenting stresses with young children. Child Development. 61: 1628-1637

Crnic KA & Booth CL (1991) Mothers’ and fathers’ perceptions of daily hassles of parenting across early childhood. Journal of Marriage and the Family. 53: 1043–1050.

10. The caregiver should understand the aim of filling out the questionnaire, and how it will contribute to the overall assessment.

11. The scale is probably most useful with families that are not well-known. In piloting it was found to highlight areas for future discussion, and help prioritise which parenting issues needed to be addressed first.

12. It can also be used to monitor change.


13. It should be given to the parent/caregiver to fill out themselves.

14. It can be read out if necessary.

15. It takes about 10 minutes to complete.

16. The scale should always be used as a basis for discussion. In general this is best kept until the parent has finished, but there will be occasions when it is vital to acknowledge, or immediately follow up comments made while it is being filled out.


17. The scale can be used in two distinct ways: (a) the totals of the frequency and intensity scales can be obtained, or (b) scores for challenging behaviour and parenting tasks can be derived from the intensity scale.

18. To obtain frequency and intensity total scores

a) The frequency scale is scored: rarely = 1, sometimes = 2, a lot = 3, and constantly = 4. If the parent says that an event never occurs, never = 0. The range for this scale is 0–80. A score of 3 or 4 for any one event indicates that it occurs with above average frequency.

b) The intensity scale is scored by adding the parents rating of 1–5 for each item. If a 0 has been scored for frequency on an item then it should be scored 0 for intensity. The range for this scale is 0–100. A score of 4 or 5 for any one event indicates that it is at least some problem to the parent.



1. This scale aims to assess the frequency and intensity/impact of 20 experiences that can be a ‘hassle’ to parents.

2. It has been used in a wide variety of research concerned with children and families. The research in which it has been used includes a parenting programme with families who had major difficulties in raising young children.

3. Parents/Caregivers enjoy completing the scale, because it touches on aspects of being a parent that are very familiar. It helps them express what it feels like to be a parent.

4. During piloting, social workers reported that it depicted concisely areas of pressure felt by the carer. This helped identify areas where assistance could be provided either by the social services department or other agencies.

5. It is seen by parents as a way for them to express their needs for help with parenting.

The Scale

6. The caregiver is asked to score each of the 20 potential Hassles in two different ways for frequency and intensity.

7. The frequency of each type of happening provides an ‘objective’ marker of how often it occurs.

8. The intensity or impact score indicates the caregiver’s ‘subjective’ appraisal of how much those events affect or ‘hassle’ them.

9. The time frame for this scale can be varied according to the focus of the assessment. For example, if a family is thought to have been under particular pressure in the last 2 months the parent can be asked to consider how matters have been during that period. However, if it is intended to assess progress, the same time frame should be used on each occasion. Periods of less than one month are probably too short to give a useful picture.


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