Research Article | Open Access

Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale: Urdu Translation and Validation

    Sana Bukhari

    National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

    Sobia Masood

    National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

06 Mar, 2019
28 Feb, 2020
30 Jun, 2020

Based on the Cognitive Contextual framework, the Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict (CPIC; Grych, Seid, & Fincham, 1992) scale was developed to measure perception of children about interparental conflict. This paper presents a valid and reliable Urdu translation of CPIC scale, using a sample of 521 adolescents, to make available an instrument that can be used on Pakistani adolescents. The guidelines of Brislin (1970) were used for the translation of CPIC, followed by cross-language validation, which showed significant correlations (p< .01) between original and Urdu-version of CPIC. Confirmatory Factor Analysis and follow-up model fit indices showed a good fit on its original four factor structure (GFI = .90; IFI = .91; CFI = .91; RMSEA = .03), after deletion of certain items. Cronbach’s coefficient indicated sound internal consistency of all subscales. It is concluded that the Urdu-translated version of CPIC is a reliable and valid measure to assess different aspects of interparental conflict in a sample of Pakistani adolescents. Uses and potential implications of an Urdu-translated version of CPIC are discussed.

Many adolescents have the misfortune of experiencing parents' separation or are a part of intact households that have a high or at least some degree of interparental conflict (Escapa, 2017; Slater & Haber, 1984; Wierson, Forehand, & McCombs, 1988; Zinzow et al., 2009). Studies across the globe have shown that exposure to such conflict is associated with a number of negative consequences (DeBoard-Lucas & Grych, 2011; Khaleque, Uddin, Shirin, Aktar, & Himi, 2016; McCloskey & Lichter, 2003). Similarly a study conducted in Pakistan reported that adolescents exposed to higher interparental conflict at home had lower levels of parental attachment and poor peer relations (Azam, 2006). Saeed (2001) also noted a positive relationship between perceived interparental conflicts and self-reported delinquency in adolescents. Additionally, when studying aggression among young adults, Feroz, Jami, and Masood (2015) established that exposure to domestic violence and interparental conflict result in long lasting consequences. However, more recently, research efforts have shifted from investigating the existence of a relationship between exposure to interparental conflict and negative outcomes for adolescents, to understanding the underlying mechanism responsible for it (Fisher, 2012).

Majority of the studies that look into the influence of parental discord on the children mostly examine reports of the conflict given by the parents, while few take into account the perception of children about the said conflict (Moura, dos Santos, Rocha, & Matos, 2010). It can be argued that children’s appraisals are actually more relevant to their wellbeing and functioning, since these appraisals or perceptions mirror their processing (both emotional and cognitive) of the discord (Grych & Fincham, 1990). Therefore, logic entails that children’s appraisals are better predictors of the influences of parental discord upon child related outcomes, as compared to parental accounts (Emery & O’Leary, 1982).

In 1990,Grych and Fincham proposed a cognitive-contextual framework for understanding the association between interparental conflict and child adjustment. In this framework the authors identify the underlying mechanism of the relationship between interparental conflict and its negative consequences for children. According to them, children’s appraisals of threat, self-blame and triangulation into interparental conflict act as mediators of the said relationship. The threat appraisal represents the child’s perception of the destructive outcomes of conflict between parents, these outcomes may be related to the child or the whole structure of the family. An example of this can be when a child witnesses a fight between his/her parents, he/she would start to fear that this would harm his/her relationship with one or both parents, or that the parents may end up divorced (Grych, 1998; Grych & Cardoza-Fernandez, 2001). It is natural for a child to attempt to understand the reasoning behind parental discord, and even try to resolve it. The threat appraisal of a child is decreased if the child believes that he/she can handle or deal with the discord between parents. When threatening aspect of the conflict is lowered the child can feel confident in responding effectively. But an increased threat appraisal renders the child incapable of coping (Grych & Fincham, 1990). Studies show that interparental conflict can be perceived by the adolescents as a threat to their emotional and overall wellbeing, and such adolescents are likely to develop externalizing and internalizing behaviour problems (Fisher, 2012; Khaleque et al., 2016).Whereas the self-blame appraisal represents a view of the child that he/she is responsible for the parental discord and it is his/her job to make peace (Grych & Fincham, 1993). Research suggests that a child’s distress increases when they are of the view that they have caused their parents to fight (Ablow, Measelle, Cowan, & Cowan, 2009). The self-blame appraisal is increased if the child attempts to comprehend the reasons underlying the conflict between their parents, which leads to the children getting tangled in the conflict both in an emotional and physical way. Children that are convinced that they are the cause behind the interparental conflict are drowned in feelings of guilt and shame, and thus try their hardest to somehow resolve it (Grych, Fincham, Jouriles, & McDonald,2000; Khaleque et al., 2016). Numerous studies have put forth evidence that suggest that in reality, these appraisals link interparental conflict to children’s behaviour problems (Buehler, Lange, & Franck, 2007; Grych, Harold, & Miles, 2003).

According to the family systems theorists, triangulation is “the involvement of a third person in a dyadic conflict” (Fosco & Grych, 2008, p. 844). Triangulation can exist in various forms. In the context of the present study, triangulation refers to the child getting involved in interparental discord. Children may be triangulated into interparental conflict by their own will or they may be forced by one or both parents. A child could try to make peace or may be pressured into choosing sides with either parent, a child may even try to divert attention to him/herself (by misbehaving) in order to stop the parents from fighting with each other (Buchanan & Waizenhofer, 2001). Research show that couples in high conflict marriages are likely to involve the kids in the arguments they are having with their spouses (Kerig, 1995; Lindahl, Clements, & Markman, 1997).

Based on this frame-work, the Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict (CPIC)scale was developed. The said scale was constructed using an American sample, however, since then it has also been used on samples from Europe (Bringhenti, 2005); Italy (Godde & Walper, 2001); Germany (Iraurgi et al., 2008); Spain (Ulu & Fisiloglu, 2004); Turkey (Vairami & Vorria, 2007); Asia (Chi &Xin, 2003); and Portugal (Moura et al., 2010). Researches on the factor similarity of this scale across different countries and cultures can shed light on the cultural sensitivity of this phenomenon and the theory upon which CPIC scale is based, which would allow more inclusive, generalizable, and comparative discussion of findings. Cultural context could actually be an important element when measuring interparental conflict as it is a phenomenon likely to be influenced by culture, such as the socialization process, values, and parenting styles, which warrants the need to validate instruments across cultures (Moura et al., 2010). Therefore, this study intends to examine CPIC’s factor structure in a culture different from the one where it was originally developed. To accomplish this, the present research translates and then examines the validity of the CPIC factor structure, using a sample of Pakistani adolescents.

The Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale

This instrument was developed by Grych, Seid, and Fincham (1992) based on the cognitive contextual framework (Grych & Fincham, 1990), to measure particular dimensions or aspects of parental conflicts from the perspective of the children. This scale contains 48 items divided into four subscales: Conflict properties (item example: I often see my parents arguing), threat (item example: I get scared when my parents argue), self-blame (item example: It’s usually my fault when my parents argue), and triangulation (item example: I feel like I have to take sides when my parents have a disagreement).

The subscale of Conflict Properties has a total of 19 items; the Threat subscale contains 12 items: the Self-blame subscale contains 9 items and lastly, the Triangulation subscale contains 8 items (see Table 1). All items have three response options ranging from 2 = True, 1 = Sort of or Sometimes True and 0 = False. Pertaining to their content, items number 1, 2, 6, 9, 13, 17, 20, 27, 28, 30, 32, 36, 39 and 47 were reverse coded. The scale does not have a composite score. Originally developed to be used on young children, this scale has also been tested for psychometric properties on adolescents and emerging adults with reliability of subscales ranging from .76 to .92 (Moura et al., 2010).

Based on the arguments and rationale presented previously, highlighting the importance of studying children’s perception of interparental conflict, and the lack of a suitable instrument to measure it in the Pakistani population, this study takes on the task to translate and adapt the CPIC scale into Urdu language, in order to make available an Urdu language, reliable and valid instrument to measure perceptions of interparental conflicts in Pakistani adolescents. Therefore, the aims of this study include:

1. Translation and adaptation of Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict scale into Urdu language.
2. Establishing validity of the Urdu-translated version of Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict scale.


To fulfill the aforementioned objectives, the current study was divided into three phases:

Phase I: Translation and adaptation of CPIC
Phase II: Cross-language validation
Phase III: Structural validation through Confirmatory Factor Analysis

Phase I: Translationand adaptation of CPIC
Previous studies in Pakistan measuring the influence of parental discord on the exposed children and adolescents used various Urdu-translated instruments such as Marital Conflict Scale, originally developed by Lopez (1991) and translated into Urdu by Azam (2006), and Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence Scale, originally developed by Edleson, Johnson, and Shin (2007), and translated into Urdu by Masood (2014). However, these instruments merely address the exposure and not the perceptions and appraisals of the adolescent about the conflict. Therefore, a need was identified to translate the CPIC scale into Urdu language for its use on a Pakistani sample. After seeking permission from the original author of the scale, the translation and adaptation of CPIC scale was done by following the guidelines of Brislin (1970). Translation was carried out in the following steps:

Step 1: Forward-translation of items into targeted language
Step 2: Selection of most suitable item through committee approach
Step 3: Back-translation of items into source language
Step 4: Selection of most suitable item through committee approach

In Step 1, Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict (CPIC) scale was translated from the source language, English, into Urdu. The translation was done by following the guidelines recommended by Brislin (1970) which included making sure there was maximum similarity of the content of the source and the target language scale; there should also be no replacement or deletion of any item. Translation was carried out by bilingual translators; five people participated in the forward-translation process. Among them three had a background in Psychology and all five were fluent in both the source and target languages.

The translators fulfilled the criteria noted by Brislin (1970) according to which all translators need a clear understanding of the source and target language of the scale. Also, should produce items in the target language that can be easily understood by respondents. They were instructed to translate the items as correctly as possible and also pinpoint items that are irrelevant to the Pakistani culture and to suggest suitable alternatives for such items.

After receiving the translations from all participating translators, in Step 2 a committee was gathered to select the most appropriate and accurate translation. The committee consisted of two Psychology PhDs, one MPhil scholar and the researcher. Each and every item of the scale was thoroughly examined by the committee and out of the five translations, the one that conveyed the exact or closest meaning to the original text was selected. The translated items were also evaluated on the basis of context and grammatical soundness while emphasizing on the conceptual equivalence between the original text and translation. Some of the items were rephrased for better comprehension. It was also made sure that the translation should not comprise of such words that would be hard to understand by the target sample.

In Step 3 of the translation process, the items that the committee selected were taken to another set of five bilingual translators for back-translation who were unfamiliar with the original scale in the English language. Out of these five, four translators had a background of psychology and all were fluent in both the source and target language. All the translators were instructed to back-translate the items in English by trying to keep content equivalence between both the versions.

In Step 4, back-translated items were taken to the committee for final selection. The committee consisted of two psychology PhDs and the researcher. Committee received the original and back-translated items and assessed the concordance between the back-translations and original English version of each item. Items that were closest in meaning with the original items were retained. After consultation with the original author, modifications were made in those items which had some problem in their back-translation.

Finally, the translated version of the scale that emerged after the said procedure was administered on 50 adolescent students and was reviewed by subject matter experts. Participants were asked to give feedback on the comprehension, language difficulty and statement clarity of instruments. They were requested to give suggestions regarding the response format of the questionnaire. Participants were also asked to tell about any confusion they may have faced while reading the items. According to the feedback received after the tryout, it was found that participants understood all the translated items.

Phase II: Cross-Language Validation
Cross-language validation was conducted in order to statistically determine the similarity between the original English language version and the Urdu-translated version of CPIC.

The sample for cross language validation of CPIC scale comprised of 26 students from private schools of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It consisted of 13 boys and 13 girls, with an age range of 13-17 years (M = 14.38, SD = 1.09), belonging to grades 8 to 10 (M = 8.46, SD = 0.86).

Following the translation process, in order to establish cross language validation of the translated scale, both the translated version and original source language version of questionnaire were administrated on 26 students with a gap of 15 days. Results of Phase II are presented in Table 1.

Table 1:
Cross-Language Validation of CPIC Scale Urdu-Version with
CPIC Scale English Version (N = 26)

**p <.01

As shown in the Table 1 the English and Urdu versions of the CPIC scale have high significant correlations on all the subscales ranging from .72-.79, which displays sound cross language validity.

Phase III: Structural Validation through Confirmatory Factor Analysis
The CPIC scale was developed by Grych et al. (1992) based on the cognitive contextual framework (Grych & Fincham, 1990), and was specifically designed to assess particular aspects of interparental conflict as perceived by the witnessing children. Itsfactor structure has been validated across different studies (e.g., Bickham & Fiese, 1997; Grych et al., 1992; Moura et al., 2010; Reese-Weber & Hesson-McInnis, 2008). However, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was performed to determine if the established factor structure is equally applicable and valid on a sample of Pakistani adolescents.

A total of 620 questionnaire booklets were distributed out of which 593 were returned. The response rate was 95.6%. 72 booklets were discarded due to similar pattern responses and unanswered questionnaires. As a result, the sample comprised 521 participants out of which 388 were boys (64.9%) and 183 were girls (35.1%). Their age ranged between 13 to 19 years (M = 15.25, SD = 1.75), and they belonged to grades 8 to 12 (M = 9.35, SD = 1.46).

The goodness of fit of all the models was determined using multiple fit indices, which include: Chi-square (χ2) and relative normed Chi-square (χ2/df), Comparative Fit Index (CFI), Incremental Fit Index (IFI), Goodness of Fit Index (GFI), And Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA).The statistic of Chi-square is used to assess if the model holds in the population, the nonsignificant value of chi-square, measured at the threshold of .05, indicates a good model fit (Barrett, 2007). Chi-square statistic is extremely sensitive to sample size, even though it is popularly used for determining model fit. In large samples χ2 statistic is more inclined to show the model as a poor fit, on the other hand if the sample size is too small χ2may fail to distinguish between goodness and badness of model fits (Hooper, Coughlan, & Mullen, 2008).

According to Brown (2006) in order to determine the fit of model in population, RMSEA is also a famous statistic. RMSEA is an index based on population which is not affected by sample size, although it is affected by parameter count. Various researchers have proposed different values of RMSEA, as acceptable model fit. According to Roberts (1999) RMSEA less than .05 indicates a good model fit for the data. Similarly, a value of less than or equal to .05 is also considered a good model fit, and values of less than or equal to .08 indicate reasonable error of approximation (Byrne, 2013). However, it is recommended by Brown (2006) in case of small sample size, if other fit indices indicate a good model fit, the value of RMSEA at .08 is also acceptable.

GFI is another fit index which measures variance proportion that is accounted for the estimated covariance of population. GFI can range in its value from 0 to 1, the value closer to 1 indicates good fit (Hooper et al., 2008). CFI and IFI compare hypothesized model with a restrictive baseline model, which is an independent model with all variables mutually uncorrelated; to measure the goodness and improvement in model (Yu, 2002). If CFI and IFI values fall in the between .90 to .95 range, this is considered to be acceptable (Bentler, 1990).

The confirmatory factor analysis for the translated CPIC scale, was done in order to determine if it was a psychometrically sound instrument for Pakistani population. Items with low factor loadings were deleted after qualitative analysis of the content of those items and after expert opinion and permission of the original author of the scale. Covariances between the errors of the items were added to obtain model fit.


Results of Phase III, including model fit indices, factor loadings, squared multiple correlations are noted in Table 2 and Table 3. Following that, alpha reliability coefficients of the final version of the Urdu CPIC along with correlation coefficients between subscales are noted in Table 4.

Table 2:
Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Children’s Perception of
Interparental Conflict (N = 521)

Note. GFI = Goodness of Fit Index; IFI = Incremental Fit Index; CFI = Comparative Fit
Index, RMSEA = Root Mean Square Error of Approximation; Model 1 = Default model
of CFA; Model 2 = Model 1 after deleting items with low factor loadings; Model 3 =
Model 2 after adding error covariances

Table 2 represents the model fit indices for the CPIC Scale’sfour factor structure. It shows that model fit χ2(df) = 2.53(1070) with values of CFI = .69, IFI = .69 and RMSEA = .054. The value of CFI and IFI were low, therefore, in order to get better fit, error covariances were added on basis on content overlapping. The value of CFI and IFI got raised to .91 and .91 respectively which is considered as good fit.

Table 3:
Factor Loadings and Squared Multiple Correlations for
Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale
Urdu-Version (N = 521)

Note. λ = Factor Loading; SMC = Squared Multiple Correlation; Boldface numbers indicate
low λ and low SMCs; Bold faces indicate problematic values

Table 3 shows factor loadings and squared multiple correlations for CPIC scale four-factor structure. All the items of CPIC show acceptable values of factor loadings and squared multiple correlations (SMCs) except item no. 6 (λ = -.04), 9 (λ = .25), 12 (λ = .11), 17 (λ = -.17), 23 (λ = -.11), 30 (λ = .05), 32 (λ = .13), 36 (λ = .07) and 47(λ = .19). The SMCs of these items are also below the acceptable rage of .20; 6 (SMC = .00), 9(SMC = .06), 12 (SMC = .01), 17 (SMC = .03), 23 (SMC = .01), 30 (SMC = .00), 32 (SMC = .02), 36 (SMC = .01) and 47 (SMC = .04). Thus, based on the criteria given by Bian, (2011), the factor loadings of these items are < .30 and, SMCs of the same items are below the threshold of .20. As per the criteria given by Hooper et al. (2008) these items were excluded after consultation with the original author. Excluding these items significantly improved the reliability and fit indices. Factor loadings ranged from .30 to .68, SMCs ranged from .10 to .44.

Table 4:
Reliability and Correlation Coefficients of the Sub-Scales of
CPIC (N = 521)

**p < .01.

According to the table above, the α values of the subscales of the translated version after CFA, show that all the subscales of the CPIC have an acceptable reliability coefficient (Salvia, Ysseldyke, & Bolt, 2010). In addition to that, Table 4 reports the correlation coefficients, showing significant positive correlation between all subscales indicating interrelatedness of the factors.


Often times, researchers opt to translate and adapt an existing scale to make it usable on a new population sample, as this process is faster and more economical in comparison to the process of developing a new instrument from scratch. However, since many psychological variables are culturally sensitive it is important to determine the validity of the translated instrument. Thus the objective of this study was to translate and validate the CPIC scale, adapting it for use on samples of Pakistani adolescents. The translation process, adhering to the guidelines of Brislin (1970), was followed by tests assessing the validation of the translated version. Exploratory Factor Analysis is a data driven technique and is recommended to be used when there is little or no preconception about how the items will factor (Levine, 2005),whereas Confirmatory Factor Analysis(CFA) is a statistical procedure used to assess a predefined model to fit an observed set of data (Shafique, Khalily, & Mchugh, 2017). The CPIC scale has a substantial theoretical base (Cognitive Contextual framework; Grych & Fincham, 1990) and the validity of the factor structure of the original version of CPIC scale has been well established in past studies (e.g., Bickham & Fiese, 1997; Grych et al., 1992; Mouraet al., 2010; Reese-Weber & Hesson-McInnis, 2008).Due to these reasons and following the precedence of various other translation studies (e.g., Fatima, Masood, Ahmad, & Bukhari, 2019; Loas et al., 2010; Shafique et al., 2017) this study deems the use of CFAsufficient to analyze the factor structure of the Urdu-translated version of CPIC scale, in order to determine the validity of the established factor structure for a sample of Pakistani adolescents.

The CPIC scale has a nine-factor structure as well as a four-factor structure. On the recommendation of the authors of CPIC, the four-factor was adopted in this study due to its superior psychometric properties. The recommended predefined factor structure of CPIC consists of four-interrelated factors including: Conflict Properties, Threat, Self-blame and Triangulation. Upon initial analysis, it was found that some items had low factor loadings; below the recommended range of .30 (Bian, 2011), those items included: Item 36 of Conflict Properties subscale, items 6, 23 and 32 of the Threat subscale, items 9 and 47 of the Self-blame subscale, items 12, 17 and 30 of the Triangulation subscale. The mentioned items also had values of Squared Multiple Correlations (SMCs) below acceptable range of .20 (Hooper et al., 2008; see Table 3). Therefore, after subjective evaluation of these items, consultation with experts and original authors of the scale, these items were excluded. Exclusion of the items improved the model to some extent. In order to achieve model fit, error covariances were added, keeping in mind the theoretical integrity of the scale. After adding the error covariances the fit indices stretched up to an acceptable range implying that the current model fitted the data well (see Table 2). Hence in the present study the above-mentioned items were deleted and a final version of 39-item of CPIC Urdu Version was retained instead of the 48-item version, for the present sample. However, it is important to note that the items excluded in this study should not be excluded from subsequent studies without first conducting CFA of all 48 items.

In Table 4 the results of the reliability analysis indicate that all four subscales of the CPIC scale have an acceptable reliability. Furthermore, the presence of significant correlation coefficients between the subscales supports the postulate of the cognitive contextual framework that interparental conflict is linked to appraisals of threat, self-blame and triangulation in those exposed to it. This suggests that the construct of children’s perception of interparental conflict in Pakistani culture matches the operationalization of the framework given by Grych and Fincham (1990).


Exposure of children to parental conflict is a prevalent phenomenon in Pakistan that has been reported in various indigenous studies and has been linked to a number of psychological issues (Azam & Hanif, 2011; Feroz et al., 2015, Khatoon, Maqsood, Qadir, & Minhas, 2014).However, due to a lack of instruments, the underlying mechanism of this link remained under researched in Pakistan. The present study makes available a reliable and valid instrument that can be used to measure this underlying mechanism that associates this exposure to child behavior problems and overall adjustment of children. In addition, this scale has been used chiefly for research purposes so far, however, given the well-argued relationship of parental conflict with child adjustment problems; the clinical usefulness of this instrument is worth exploring. It can very well prove to be helpful to professionals in research, clinical and public health sectors.


This study dealt with the translation and validation of the CPIC scale showing that the Urdu-translated version is a reliable and valid measure to assess interparental conflict and its different aspects in a sample of Pakistani adolescents. At the same time, it should be kept in mind that in the process of confirming its factor structure someof the items were excluded due to their low factor loadings. However, through qualitative evaluation of those items and expert opinion it was decided that removing these items for this study, did not compromise the structural integrity of the scale. Still, it is suggested that exploratory factor analysis should be done on the Urdu-translated version of CPIC and that items deleted in this study should be qualitatively analyzed in light of the cultural context. Furthermore, the sample of adolescents used in this study all belonged to intact families, given the contextual sensitivity of the construct of interparental conflict, it is suggested that future researches compare CPIC’s factor structure across intact, separated and divorced families.


Most researches in Pakistan studying effects of exposure to interparental conflicts on children and adolescents failed to take into account the perceptions of the children and the underlying mechanism that is supposedly responsible for the relationship between such exposure and its negative consequences, in part due to lack of suitable instruments. Therefore, to help address this gap in indigenous literature, the present study makes available a reliable and valid Urdu language version of Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale, which can help researchers better explore and understand the prevalent phenomenon of exposure to interparental conflict in the country.


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How to Cite this paper?

APA-7 Style
Bukhari, S., Masood, S. (2020). Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale: Urdu Translation and Validation. Pak. J. Psychol. Res, 35(2), 337-354.

ACS Style
Bukhari, S.; Masood, S. Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale: Urdu Translation and Validation. Pak. J. Psychol. Res 2020, 35, 337-354.

AMA Style
Bukhari S, Masood S. Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale: Urdu Translation and Validation. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research. 2020; 35(2): 337-354.

Chicago/Turabian Style
Bukhari, Sana, and Sobia Masood. 2020. "Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale: Urdu Translation and Validation" Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research 35, no. 2: 337-354.