The Parental Bonding Instrument: A Four-Factor Structure Model in a Japanese College Sample

Hanako Suzuki*, 1, 2, Toshinori Kitamura3
1 Department of Child Developmental Sociology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan
2 Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan
3 Kitamura Institute of Mental Health Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

© 2011 Suzuki and Kitamura;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Child Developmental Sociology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 1-1-1 Honjo Kumamoto 860-8556, Japan; Tel: +81.96.373.5201; Fax: +81.96.373.5200; E-mail:


The Parenting Bonding Instrument (PBI) is a widely used battery to assess parenting behaviours. Although, it was originally developed to measure two attributes of parenting behaviour, care and overprotection, there is still disagreement about the factor structure of the scale. The aim of the present study is to examine the fit of different factorial structures of the PBI in a Japanese college sample. A total of 4,357 Japanese college students (1392 male and 2965 female) participated in the study. The age range was 17-40 years old with the mean age of 20.29 (SD = 1.85). Based on the previous research, five different models of factor structures were identified, and confirmatory factor analyses using AMOS were performed to evaluate the fit of each factorial structure model. A four-factor model (care, indifference, overprotection, and encouragement of autonomy) yielded the best fit among the five models. It was found that the original two-factor model did not reach the acceptable fit. Although the original scoring instruction indicates the four subscales be treated as two sets of bipolar factors (care-indifference, overprotection-autonomy), the present study suggests that four subscales be treated as independent factors when parenting behaviours are assessed in a Japanese population.

Keywords: College sample, factor analysis, Japanese, Parental Boding Instrument (PBI), structural equation modelling.