Scoring & Usage

You can view or download the Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning here.

Scoring the BIMF

After reverse-coding for items 16 and 18, the BIMF is scored by simply summing all 20 items.  The total score ranges from 0 to 120, with a score of 120 representing perfect functioning.

Reverse coding for items 16 and 18 simply means that:

  • A response of 0=6 and a response of 6=0.
  • A response of 1=5 and a response of 5=1.
  • A response of 2=4 and a response of 4=2.
  • A response of 3=3.

The scoring instructions and other details regarding the development of the BIMF can also be found at:

Barkin, J. L., Wisner, K. L., Bromberger, J. T., Beach, S. R., Terry, M. A., & Wisniewski, S. R. (2010). Development of the Barkin index of Maternal Functioning. Journal of Women’s Health19(12), 2239-2246.

Questions regarding scoring can also be relayed to Dr. Jennifer Barkin at [email protected].

Administration as two Separate Scales

The 20-item BIMF includes two items on anxiety/worry (items 16 & 18) and is recommended for comprehensive assessment of postpartum functioning. However, an 18-item version of the BIMF was identified by the initial factor analysis (Barkin et al., 2014).  Two scales emerged through this process: Mom’s Competency and Mom’s Needs.  Both scales were found to be reliable and valid (Barkin et al., 2014).  The Mom’s Needs Scale (Maternal Self-Care), may be particularly useful when counselling new mothers, as women’s attention to their own needs tends to lag behind other domains such as infant care (Barkin et al., 2013).  Barkin & Wisner (2013) observed contradictory thinking surrounding the role of self-care in new motherhood (ie.,“As a new mother, I need to take care of myself.  If I’m not happy, I will have no energy to take care of my family” vs. “As a new mother, I should be completely selfless.  It’s all about my kids now.”).  It is important to note that clinical thresholds do not currently exist for the two separate scales.

The Mom’s Competency Scale is comprised of:

  • I am a good mother (Item 1)
  • I am comfortable with the way I’ve chosen to feed my baby (Item 3)
  • My baby and I understand each other (Item 4)
  • I am able to relax and enjoy time with my baby (Item 5)
  • I trust my instincts when it comes to taking care of my baby (Item 10)
  • I am taking good care of my baby’s physical needs (Item 12)
  • I make good decisions about my baby’s health and well-being (Item 14)
  • My baby and I are getting into a routine (Item 15)
  • I am able to take care of my baby and my other responsibilities (Item 17)
  • As time goes on, I am getting better at taking care of my baby (Item 19)
  • I am satisfied with the job I am doing as a new mother (Item 20)

The Mom’s Needs Scale (Maternal Self-Care Scale) is comprised of:

  • I feel rested (Item 2)
  • There are people in my life that I can trust to care for my baby (Item 6)
  • I am comfortable allowing a trusted friend or relative to care for my baby (Item 7)
  • I am getting enough adult interaction (Item 8)
  • I am getting enough encouragement from other people (Item 9)
  • I take a little time each week to do something for myself (Item 11)
  • I am taking good care of my physical needs (Item 13)


The BIMF may be reprinted without charge for noncommercial research (academic/non-profit) and educational purposes. Questions about content, development, reliability and validity, interpretation and requests for modifications may be directed to Dr. Jennifer L. Barkin, Ph.D at [email protected]. If you would like to use the BIMF (or any derivative work, including translations) for industry-sponsored/commercial research, please contact the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute at 412-383-7670 for licensing information. The copyright for the BIMF and all derivative works is owned by the University of Pittsburgh.