The Psychometric Properties of the Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning

Jennifer L. Barkin*, Katherine L. Wisner, Stephen R. Wisniewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning (BIMF). Design: Principal component factor rotation was used to conduct an exploratory factor analysis of the BIMF to determine if more concise versions exist. Setting: Patients were recruited from a large, urban medical center in the Northeast. Participants: The BIMF was administered at an initial home visit along with several other self-report and clinical assessments to women who scored ≥ 10 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale during the 4-to 6-week postpartum period. Methods: The BIMF was administered between October 2008 and September 2010. The distribution of BIMF item responses was examined along with interitem correlations. To establish construct validity, correlation coefficients were produced for the BIMF in relation to several other variables or assessments. A factor analysis was performed using principal component factor rotation. Results: The factor analysis revealed a two-factor solution. The items that loaded on factor 1 gauged the mother's perception of her own competency in the maternal role and the items that made up factor 2 focused on the mother's needs. Items related to judgment from others and anxiety did not load on either factor. Conclusions: The BIMF may be administered in its 18-item version, as two separate subscales, or in its original 20-item format. A clinical threshold should be developed to facilitate accurate identification of mothers who are struggling with functioning during the postpartum period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-802
Number of pages11
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014


  • Maternal functioning
  • Motherhood
  • Postpartum functioning
  • Postpartum health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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