© Copyright ISBN 0 11 322426 5 PARENTING DAILY HASSLES 1a
Name of Child:
Relationship to child:
Parenting Daily Hassles
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
PARENTING DAILY HASSLES SCALE
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
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
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.
PARENTING DAILY HASSLES 2b