The factorial structure of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) has been frequently studied in diverse samples but no study has examined its psychometric properties from large, population-based samples. In particular, important questions have not been addressed such as the measurement invariance properties across parental and offspring gender. We evaluated the PBI based on responses from a large, representative population-based sample, using an exploratory structural equation modeling method appropriate for categorical data. Analysis revealed a three-factor structure representing “care,” “overprotection,” and “autonomy” parenting styles. In terms of psychometric measurement validity, our results supported the complete invariance of the PBI ratings across sons and daughters for their mothers and fathers. The PBI ratings were also robust in relation to personality and mental health status. In terms of predictive value, paternal care showed a protective effect on mental health at age 43 in sons. The PBI is a sound instrument for capturing perceived parenting styles, and is predictive of mental health in middle adulthood.

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Xu, K., Morin, A., Marsh, H., Richards, M., & Jones, P. (2016). Psychometric Validation of the Parental Bonding Instrument in a UK Population–Based Sample Role of Gender and Association With Mental Health in Mid-Late Life. Assessment. doi:10.1177/1073191116660813