Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI)

The Parental Bonding Instrument was included on the 1989 self completion questionnaire.

The PBI is a 'retrospective' measure where study members were asked how they remembered, separately, their mother and father in their first 16 years. The 25 items are used to derived two dimensions: “care” and “control / overprotection”. Of the 25 standard items in the scale, one was omitted (item 4: Seemed emotionally cold to me), and five items were reworded from a negative direction to a positive direction (items 2, 8, 14, 18 and 24).

Individual items and derived measures (summary scales for father's and mother's level of care, and level of overprotection) are available as is the full recoding documentation1)


Obtaining the standard PBI variables

  • You can obtain a list of the standard topic variables to use in an NSHD data sharing request by selecting the link at the end of this page.
  • The XML version of the link can be sent to the LHA as part of a data sharing request.
  • Simply use your browser's Save As facility to save the list of variables to a file on your computer.
  • You can then email the XML version to us in support of your application, or when you fill in the data access application form and it asks which variables you need, mention the 'PBI standard basket' along with any others.


HTML version of the standard variables to view

Download the XML for the PBI standard basket