The validity of the Parental Bonding Instrument as a measure of maternal bonding among young Pakistani women

Farah Qadir, Robert Stewart, Murad Khan, Martin Prince

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Parenting may have an important influence upon women's mental health in societies characterized by strong male gender preference. The Parental Bonding Interview (PBI) has been very widely used, but not yet formally evaluated in a South Asian context. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the factor structure, face and concurrent validity of the PBI as an assessment of maternal bonding among young Pakistani women. Methods: A total of 86 women, aged 20-35 years, were identified by door-knocking in two small catchment areas in Islamabad/Rawalpindi, one characterized by higher and one by lower socio-economic status. The PBI, the Clinical Interview Schedule Revised (CIS-R) and the Marital Satisfaction Scale (MSS) were each administered by a female interviewer in the respondent's home. Results: All women agreed to be interviewed privately, the response rate was 100%. Consistent with previous reports, PBI items loaded on two well-characterized internally consistent scales, care and overprotection. In a three-factor solution, the overprotection scale divided into two subscales previously characterized as "Encouragement of Behavioral Freedom" and "Denial of Psychological Autonomy". Concurrent validity was supported by correlations in the expected direction between PBI care and overprotection subscales and both psychological morbidity (CIS-R) and marital satisfaction (MSS). Conclusions: Pakistani women seem to perceive and respond to PBI items as addressing parental "control" or "overprotection" in a similar way to respondents from western Anglophone cultures. This study provides further support for the core construct validity of the PBI, and indicates a perhaps surprising degree of sensitivity to cultural nuances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-282
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Mental health
  • Pakistan
  • Parenting
  • Validation


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