The "Measure of Parental Style" (MOPS, Parker et al., 1997) represents an internationally accepted self-assessment instrument. A German translation of the questionnaire, the "Fragebogen dysfunktionaler elterlicher Beziehungsstile"(FDEB), is presented and its construct properties are evaluated. In addition, characteristic parental styles in different diagnostic groups are assessed. Psychometric testing was performed in a sample of 108 psychotherapeutic outpatients and 109 students. Parental styles of different diagnostic subgroups were compared to the whole sample. Using discriminant analysis the predictive value of parental style for psychiatric diagnoses was evaluated. The internal consistency of the instrument and its subscales revealed to be satisfactory. The three-factor solution of the English version explaining 55% of variance could be replicated: "Indifference", "over-control", and "abuse". Compared to students patients scored significantly higher on all three factors. Within different diagnostic groups characteristic parental styles could be identified that correctly described 82.2% of psychiatric diagnoses. We conclude that the German version of the MOPS represents a useful and reliable screening and research instrument for the assessment of parental styles.