Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect for 30 Years



Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory-version 2

The AAPI-2.1 is an inventory designed to assess the parenting and child rearing attitudes of adolescents and adult parent and pre-parent populations. Based on the known parenting and child rearing behaviors of abusive parents, responses to the inventory provide an index of risk for practicing behaviors known to be attributable to child abuse and neglect. The AAPI-2.1 is the revised and re-normed version of the original AAPI first developed in 1979.


Responses to the AAPI-2.1 provide an index of risk in five specific parenting and child rearing behaviors:

  • Construct A - Expectations of Children
  • Construct B - Parental Empathy towards Children’s Needs
  • Construct C - Use of Corporal Punishment
  • Construct D - Parent-Child Family Roles
  • Construct E - Children’s Power and Independence

Validity and Reliability

The AAPI-2.1, like its predecessor the AAPI is a validated and reliable inventory used to assess parenting attitudes. Over 30 years of research has gone into refining the AAPI.

This research indicates the following:

  • Abusive parents express significantly (p<.001) more abusive attitudes than non-abusive parents.
  • Males and male adolescents, regardless of status (abusive or non-abusive) express significantly (p<.001) more abusive parenting attitudes than females.
  • Adolescents with histories of being abused express significantly (p<.001) more abusive parenting attitudes than non-abused adolescents.
  • Each of the five parenting constructs of the AAPI-2.1, forming the five sub-scales of the inventory, show significant diagnostic and discriminatory validity. That is, responses to the inventory discriminate between the parenting behaviors of known abusive parents and the behaviors of non-abusive parents. These findings hold true for abused adolescents and non-abused adolescents.

Forms and Items

There are two forms of the AAPI-2.1: Form A and Form B. Each form has 40 items presented on a five point Likert Scale of Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree and Uncertain. Traditionally Form A is offered as pretest and Form B as a posttest.

Demographic Questions

Participants complete information about themselves including age, race, gender, employment, education level, income, military experience and whether they felt they were abused or neglected in their childhood by someone inside or outside their family.

Intended Populations

The AAPI-2.1 is designed to assess the parenting attitudes of adult parent and pre-parent populations as well as adolescent parent and pre-parent populations. Adolescent’s ages 12 to 19 years old are appropriate to respond to the items on the AAPI-2.1.


Respondents take on an average 10 to 15 minutes to complete the inventory. The AAPI-2.1 has an assessed fifth grade reading level. Parents who are unable or have difficulty reading the items can have the items read to them.

Parenting Profile

Responses to the AAPI-2.1 are displayed on a profile displaying scores in each of the five AAPI-2.1 subscales. The data are plotted on the profile using sten scores as the unit of measurement. Sten scores are "standard ten scores" that are built for a normal distribution. Responses to the AAPI-2.1 for each of the subscales are categorized as Low Risk, Moderate Risk or High Risk for Child Maltreatment.

Norm Tables

Responses to the AAPI are compared to a set of established norms for adult parents and non-parents and adolescent parents and non-parents. Norms convert raw scores for easy comparison to abusive and non-abusive parenting attitudes.

Translated and Normed

The AAPI-2.1 has been translated into Spanish, Creole, and Arabic. It has also been developed and normed for Spanish speaking families. We are continuing to add translations and norms for additional languages.

Construct A

Expectations of Children

Inappropriate Expectations

  • Expectations exceed developmental capabilities of children.
  • Lacks understanding of normal child growth and development.
  • Self-concept as a parent is weak and easily threatened.
  • Tends to be demanding and controlling.

Appropriate Expectations

  • Understands growth and development.
  • Children are allowed to exhibit normal developmental behaviors.
  • Self-concept as a caregiver and provider is positive.
  • Tends to be supportive of children.

Construct B

Parental Empathy towards Children’s Needs

Low Level of Empathy

  • Fears spoiling children.
  • Children's normal development needs not understood or valued.
  • Children must act right and be good.
  • Lacks nurturing skills.
  • May be unable to handle parenting stresses.

High Level of Empathy

  • Understands and values children's needs.
  • Children are allowed to display normal developmental behaviors.
  • Nurtures children and encourage positive growth.
  • Communicates with children.
  • Recognizes feelings of children.

Construct C

Use of Corporal Punishment

Strong Belief in the Value of Corporal Punishment

  • Hitting, spanking, slapping children is appropriate and required.
  • Lacks knowledge of alternatives to corporal punishment.
  • Lacks ability to use alternatives to corporal punishment.
  • Strong disciplinarian, rigid.
  • Tends to be controlling, authoritarian.

Values Alternatives to Corporal Punishment

  • Understands alternatives to physical force.
  • Utilizes alternatives to corporal punishment.
  • Tends to be democratic in rule making.
  • Rules for family, not just for children.
  • Tends to have respect for children and their needs.
  • Values mutual parent-child relationship.

Construct D

Parent-Child Family Roles

Reverses Family Roles

  • Tends to use children to meet self-needs.
  • Children perceived as objects for adult gratification.
  • Tends to treat children as confidant and peer.
  • Expects children to make life better by providing love, assurance, and comfort.
  • Tends to exhibit low self-esteem, poor self-awareness, and poor social life.

Appropriate Family Roles

  • Tends to have needs met appropriately.
  • Finds comfort, support, companionship from peers.
  • Children are allowed to express developmental needs.
  • Takes ownership of behavior.
  • Tends to feel worthwhile as a person, good awareness of self.

Construct E

Children’s Power and Independence

Restricts Power and Independence in Children

  • Tends to view children with power as threatening.
  • Expects strict obedience to demands.
  • Devalues negotiation and compromise as a means of solving problems.
  • Tends to view independent thinking as disrespectful.

Values Power and Independence in Children

  • Places high-value on children's ability to problem solve.
  • Encourages children to express views but expects cooperation.
  • Empowers children to make good choices.


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