Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS)

The Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS) is an observation-based instrument that assesses parent-child interaction during play. The instrument has been rated “A-Reliability and Validity Demonstrated” by California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse and recommended by Parents As Teachers, Healthy Families America, SafeCare, and WAVE Trust & Department for Education, United Kingdom. The observation portion of KIPS, which helps measure 12 key parenting behaviors, can be completed in 15 minutes, while scoring takes approximately 20 minutes.



Sensitivity of Responses; Supports Emotions; Physical Interaction; Involvement in Child's Activities; Open to Child's Agenda; Engagement in Language Experiences; Reasonable Expectations; Adapts Strategies to Child; Limits & Consequences; Supportive Directions; Encouragement; Promotes Exploration & Curiosity

2-6 years

Administration information

15 minutes observation; 20 minutes scoring

Introductory KIPS eLearning (includes 30-day subscription to the online training that includes Starter Pack of 6 scoring forms and 1-year subscription to the KIPS Library): $155 per learner; eLearning Workbook: $30; Annual Check-Up (30-day subscription to online recertification): $40 per user; Library (1-year subscription): $50 per user; Scoring forms 25-Pack: $30

10 hours of initial training and certification exam required

Access and Use

Instrument Use in Peer-Reviewed Studies

“Parenting Assessment Publications.” n.d. KIPS. Accessed February 4, 2019.


Manual scoring
Open Access
Resources on Psychometric Properties

Comfort, Marilee, and Phil Gordon. 2011. “KIPS Longitudinal Study with Kentucky HANDS.” Comfort Consults, LLC.…

Comfort, M., & Gordon, P. R. (2006). The Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS): A practical observational assessment of parenting behavior. NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Intervention Field, 9(1), 22-48.

“Keys To Interactive Parenting Scale.” n.d. CEBC. Accessed January 28, 2019.…

Comfort, M., Gordon, P.R. & Naples, D. (2011). KIPS: An Evidence-Based Tool for Assessing Parenting Strengths and Needs in Diverse Families. Infants & Young Children, 24(1), 56-74

“Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale.” 2017. Text. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. August 5, 2017.

Comfort, M., Gordon, P.R., English, B., Hacker, K., Hembree, R., Knight, R., & Miller, C. (2010). Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale: KIPS Shows How Parents Grow. Zero to Three Journal, 30(4), 33-39.