Validation of the Regulating Emotions in Parenting Scale (REPS): Factor Structure and Measurement Invariance

Violeta J. Rodriguez, Anne Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parenting provides many positive experiences for mothers and fathers but also presents them with many challenges, such as regulating their emotions during interactions with their children. While emotion regulation (ER) has emerged as an important predictor of parenting behavior and a transdiagnostic target of parenting interventions, measures specifically targeting ER in the parenting context are lacking. This study describes the development and evaluation of the Regulating Emotions in Parenting Scale (REPS). Study 1 used an exploratory factor analysis and supported a 3-factor (Adaptive Strategies, Suppression, and Rumination) structure of the REPS in a sample of 331 parents (73% women) recruited from Amazon MTurk (parent Mage = 36.02, SDage = 9.27). This factor structure was confirmed in Study 2 using confirmatory factor analysis in an independent sample of 662 parents (61% women; parent Mage = 36.81, SDage = 14.18). Tests of measurement invariance and differential item functioning provided evidence of invariance of the REPS by gender. Correlations between REPS factors and related measures of parenting, psychopathology, and general ER were in the expected direction; correlations between the REPS and parenting and psychopathology were significantly higher in magnitude than correlations between general measures of ER and parenting and psychopathology. The REPS also explained more of the variance in parenting measures than general measures of ER. These findings indicated that the REPS may provide greater specificity than general measures of ER. Future studies should replicate these findings in other populations and establish invariance by race and ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-477
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotion regulation
  • Item response theory
  • Measurement invariance
  • Parenting
  • Psychometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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