I am Computer Science student and studying Psychology as an elective. Now I was required to conduct a research on any topic. I chose: Negative Effects of Permissive Parenting Style on Youth of Pakistan. I am having difficulty in making Questionnaire (since I have very little experience about it). I want your expertise to know which approach is better. I have following two approaches of making questionnaire.

First Approach:

Topic: Negative Effects of Permissive Parenting Style on Youth of Pakistan

1-Do you think that permissive parenting style has negative effects on Pakistani youth?

2-Would you like to adopt permissive parenting style if you happen to become a parent?

3-Do you think that permissive parenting is one of the reasons that Pakistani youth lacks self-discipline?

4-Do you think that the element of not listening to anyone, in Pakistani youth is because of their brought up by permissive parents?

5-Do you think that students of universities in Pakistan do not perform well in academics because they are not afraid of their parents' reaction on getting failed?

6-Do you think that parents should be friendly enough, so that their children do not hesitate to share any problem?

7-Do you think that in Pakistan, permissive parenting should be encouraged?

8-Do you think that blurred line between parents and children leads to domestic conflicts?

9-Do you think that children become creative in a restriction free environment?

10-Do you think that permissive parenting makes relationship with children conflict-free?

11-Do you think that youth of Pakistan do not abide by rules because they are not enforced by any rule under the permissive environment?

12-Do you think that, in Pakistan, drugs is more often among the youngesters having permissive parents?

13-Do you think that the parents being soft spoken, builds strong emotional understanding in children?

14-Do you think that under permissive environment, children will lack decision-making skills?

15-Do you think that friendly environment in home teaches children social skills?

Second Approach: What do you think about the following statements?

⦁ Your parent really expect you to follow family rules.

⦁ Your parent try to know where you go at night.

⦁ Your parent know exactly where you are most afternoons after school.

⦁ When your parent tell you to do something, they expect you to do it immediately without any question.

⦁ Your parent get very upset if you try to disagree with them.

⦁ It is a bad idea to question authority.

⦁ A person must have clear long term goals.

⦁ You would rather do something beside studying during extra time.

⦁ If you like something, you want to have it no matter what.

⦁ You have a healthy diet.

In the first approach, direct questions with binary options are given.

In the second approach, first 5 questions are used to depict whether the subject is permissive or not. Next five questions are used to know what are the effects on permissive parenting.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. I am sorry, but as it is currently written, this question is a little subjective whereby the answer to "which is best" can be down to personal opinion on which approach you should go for. What are you looking for when carrying out your research? Are you after opinions on permissive parenting or are you after actual possible effects? Which approach do you think you should go for in order to reach your goal? What makes you question that? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ Hello! @ChrisRogers, my goal of research is to figure out actual possible effects. In second approach, effects are being tried to figure out from the audience. While in first approach, direct questions mentioning effects with binary options are asked. I think in that case, second approach is better. What would you have chosen? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 7:24

2 Answers 2


You said in your comments

my goal of research is to figure out actual possible effects. In second approach, effects are being tried to figure out from the audience. While in first approach, direct questions mentioning effects with binary options are asked. I think in that case, second approach is better. What would you have chosen?

Opinion-based questions are off-topic here as we require questions which can be answered based on science rather than what individuals think is correct.

In order to answer your question without opinion being involved, I am going to have to reflect it back to you in order for you to be able to determine the best approach for your needs.

First of all, you need to ask yourself

How can I work out the possible effects of permissive parenting via a questionnaire?

Once you have your answer to that question you are almost there on deciding how your are going to approach the questions within the questionnaire.

If you look at the questions in the first approach, with the exception of question 2, they all start with

Do you think....?

These questions are looking for your audiences opinion on permissive parenting. You need to ask yourself if you can gain knowledge of the actual effects of permissive parenting from these questions. If you can, then great. Go down that route and devise a list of questions which can give you the results. If not, then look at another approach.

Your second approach looks at what kind of parenting your audience may have had and then looks at their opinion on a range of things. Will their opinion-based answers in the second half give you what you need to determine the possible effects of the parenting style they were brought up on? If so, then that is the approach you need with your questionnaire.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank You, Mr. Chris Rogers for your well-defined explanation on clarity of both approaches :) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ In addition, how many people do you expect to fill out this questionnaire? How are you planning to analyze the data? Qualitatively or quantitatively? If you want to do quantitative analysis, you will need quantitative responses (although you could do content analysis and do coding). Etc, ... All of this is in line with Chris' response. Think about what you are trying to answer and which reponses you can expect. Typically, you would also do a pilot study. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 11:05

Questionnaries are usually created in the following way:

  1. Experts come up with a series of questions based on their expert familiarity with the area they want to study (e.g. a group of therapists with long years of treating depressed persons sit together and consider which questions best reflect the symptoms their patients have shown), based on theories of the area (e.g. theories of what depressions is and how it affects those that suffer from it), and based on existing instruments (e.g. other questionnaires or measurements of depression.

  2. The questions are then presented to a test group (e.g. patients with depression and healthy persons) and the results are compared to the results from existing measurements, to see how they compare.

  3. A principal component analysis and other statistical analyses are conducted to find out whether some of the questions measure exactly the same aspect and can be deleted, whether it is a unified construct or consists of several subscales, and so on.

  4. The questionnaire is revised according to the results of the test runs and a representative sample of the population is tested to create norms.

  5. The test is published and applied by other experts and reviews are published. Criticism is incorporated in revised editions.


It is impossible for anyone to say which of your two approaches is better without testing your questionnaire and verifying whether it measures what it is supposed to measure, e.g. by comparing results to those from existing instruments.

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    $\begingroup$ While a totally accurate answer (+1), not all questionnaires need to be this rigorous. It all depends on what they are planned to be used for and which conclusions you want to draw from the results. These are typical norms for large-scale quantitative questionnaires (surveys), but for smaller scale questionnaires which are interested in more qualitative data, open-ended questions might make more sense. The main thing to keep in mind there is not to be too leading. You will only get responses on what you ask. That does not mean that the questions you did not ask were not 'observed'. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 11:11

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