An examination of the psychometric properties and factor structure of the Post-partum Bonding Questionnaire in a clinical inpatient sample


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Anja Wittkowski, Division of Clinical Psychology, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, 2nd Floor, Zochonis Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK (e-mail:


Objective. To examine the factor structure and psychometric properties of the Post-partum Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) in a sample of psychiatric inpatients.

Methods. One hundred and thirty-two women who were admitted to a Mother and Baby Unit for psychiatric inpatient treatment completed the PBQ and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). The factor structure of the PBQ was examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) techniques.

Results. The original four-factor structure of the PBQ was not replicated by CFA and EFA in this sample. A three-factor solution was identified as the most stable and clinically meaningful solution. Factors pertaining to impaired bonding, anxiety and irritability, and anxiety about child care responsibilities were identified in the CFA but were not entirely replicated in the EFA. The internal consistencies of the three subscales were also acceptable. PBQ scores were also significantly associated with depression scores.

Conclusion. The findings suggest that the original four factors of the PBQ should be used with caution. Items pertaining to risk of abuse had to be omitted alongside one other item, resulting in a 22-item solution. Further psychometric evaluation of this scale is recommended.