Validating the scale measuring dysfunctional parenting with Hong Kong adolescents

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Dysfunctional parenting in situations requiring discipline is an important issue in Hong Kong. However, few scales for measuring dysfunctional parenting have been validated in the local context. The current study validated, with a sample of Hong Kong adolescents, a dysfunctional parenting scale that has been widely adopted in the West. A total of 965 adolescent students (males 43.3%, mean age 14.6, and range 12–18) were recruited for this study. Principal component analysis with varimax rotations and Tucker’s congruence coefficient were adopted to examine the factor structure of the scale and its stability. Cronbach’s alpha and correlation analysis were used to assess the internal consistency and the convergent and divergent validity of the scale and of each subscale identified. Three stable factors (laxness, overreactivity, and verbosity) were extracted, and their individual items demonstrated good internal consistency. The convergent and divergent validity of the scale (and subscales) were confirmed by its positive association with the material hardship of the families, the parental stress, and the antisocial behavior of the adolescents, their haughtiness and loneliness, and by its negative association with the adolescents’ social skills. Unlike previous studies that investigated parents’ rearing of young children, where verbosity was not detected as a significant factor, in adolescents, verbosity was detected as a factor affecting discipline. For adolescents in Hong Kong, verbosity is shown to be a dysfunctional parenting behavior; this is also true of Western adolescents but differs from traditional Chinese cultural beliefs. Copyright © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Early online dateMar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


Zhu, A. Y. F. (2018). Validating the scale measuring dysfunctional parenting with Hong Kong adolescents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 35, 489-498.


  • Dysfunctional parenting
  • Hong Kong adolescents
  • Laxness
  • Overreactivity
  • Scale validation
  • Verbosity


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