Designed a study to develop an instrument, the Parenting Inventory: Young Children (PI), to assess the behaviors and developmental expectations of parents who have a child between 1 and 4 years of age. Item development for the PI occurred within a developmental-environmental theoretical framework and was based on literature reviews and clinical experience. Experts working with parents and/or children and parents of young children established the content validity of the items. The PI was tested with a sample of 1,140 mothers. This sample was representative of the population from which it was drawn, a large urban area, in terms of the sample children's sex and ethnicity. A diverse range of socioeconomic levels were included. The resulting 100-item PI was found to reliably measure three aspects of parenting: Expectations, Discipline, and Nurturing. These factors demonstrated good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Future research needs relative to the continued development of the PI are addressed.