Using validated tools to measure parental conflict and its impact on children

Legacy Content

This project or publication was produced before or during the merger of What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) and the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF).

This briefing provides a concise introduction and practical tips on selecting and using validated measures in services designed to help reduce the impact of harmful parental conflict.

Based on our full-length guide, Measuring parental conflict and its impact on child outcomes, this briefing sets out some rules of thumb for using outcomes measures appropriately – including:

Selecting outcome measures

  • Select a measurement tool based on anticipated outcomes.
  • Consider measurement tools that are appropriate for your target participants.
  • Select a number and combination of measures that ‘fit’ together as a whole.
  • Conduct further due diligence to finalise your selection of measures.

Using outcome measures

  • Consider research ethics, including informed consent and data protection.
  • Measures should be used in their entirety.
  • Measures should be administered in the same way every time and for each group.
  • Be aware of the strengths and limitations of the measures you are using.

Managing challenges – what to do if:

  • The measure you would like to use is too long.
  • The selected measure needs to be adapted to the context.
  • Some of the questions you would like to assess are not included in the measure.



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