PCI Information Page
The PCI Scales are the most widely used scales for measuring parent-child interaction today. They are a reliable and valid means of observing and rating caregiver-child interaction for the purpose of assessing a dyad's strengths and areas needing improvement. The scales are widely used in both clinical practice and research with families with young children and they are widely used as pre and post-test measures. The scales contain a well-developed set of observable behaviors that describe the caregiver-child communication and interaction during either a feeding situation, birth to 12 months of life, or a teaching situation, birth to 36 months of age. Important reasons for the PCI Scales include:
Valid and reliable measure for assessing parent-child interaction
Describes behavior brought to the interaction by caregiver/child and contingency of their responses to one another
Assesses concerns early in the caregiver/child communication pattern
Provides separate but parallel observations of the caregiver-child pairs
Recognized by the legal system in dealing with child abuse, custody, and neglect cases
Easily identifies strengths as well as weaknesses
Used as pre and post measures for clinical programs or research
In order to use the Feeding and Teaching Scales in practice or research, professionals must be trained by a certified NCAST Instructor and be certified (reliable) in the use of the scale(s). Please contact our office for an instructor in your area.
The Feeding Scale is used with infants birth to 1 year of age. It contains a well-developed set of observable behaviors that describe parent-child communication and interaction during the Feeding process. The Feeding Scale is used as a guide for intervention and clinical practice and is widely used as pre and post-test measures in studies. Feeding scores from interactions with children 12 months of age show a significant correlation with subsequent measures of children's cognitive abilities.
The Feeding Scale is organized into six subscales representing 76 items. Four subscales describe the parent's responsibility to the interaction: Sensitivity to Cues, Response to Distress, Social-Emotional Growth Fostering and Cognitive Growth Fostering. Two subscales describe the child's responsibilities: Clarity of Cues and Responsiveness to Caregiver. The Feeding Scale takes the same amount of time as a feeding to administer. It is also a reliable and valid means of observing and rating caregiver-child interaction during either a breast, bottle or table food feeding/eating episode.
The Teaching Scale is appropriate for children from birth to 36 months and can be used as early as one day of age. Teaching scores from interactions with children as young as 3 months of age show a significant correlation with subsequent measures of children's cognitive abilities. The scale is widely used in both clinical practice and research with families and young children.
The Teaching Scales consists of 73 items organized into six subscales. Four subscales describe the parent's responsibility to the interaction: Sensitivity to Cues, Response to Distress, Social-Emotional Growth Fostering and Cognitive Growth Fostering, and two for the child: Clarity of Cues and Responsiveness to Caregiver. The Teaching Scale is scored following the observation of a session where the caregiver is asked to teach the child a defined age-appropriate activity. The length of administering the Teaching Scale varies but generally is completed in 1-6 minutes.
For testimonials on the use of PCI in clinical settings click here.
For research using the PCI scales click here