Screening for mental health using adolescent-reported parenting

Michael A. Godkin, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Stephen P. Baker, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Jan E. Paradise
Lisa Domal
Linda Grant

Document Type Article


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Little is known in primary care practices about the relationship between parenting and adolescent mental health. In addition, current parenting measures have a narrow focus or do not lend themselves to clinical intervention. This study examined the clinical utility of a new instrument measuring adolescent-reported parenting, the Parenting Assessment Scale (PAS), to predict adolescent mental health.

METHODS: A total of 147 adolescents regularly attending an inner-city clinic were asked to complete the Youth Self Report (YSR), a standard scale measuring mental health, and a PAS for each biological parent. Global scores on the PAS and YSR summarized the reported parenting quality and the adolescents' mental health status.

RESULTS: Receiver Operating Characteristics and discrimination analyses showed that the global parenting index was highly predictive of mental health using a z score of .73 (sensitivity = 92.3%, specificity = 88.9%).

CONCLUSIONS: The PAS may be useful as a screening tool in older, black adolescent females, although further research is needed to clarify its role in the clinical setting.