The relative severity of acts of physical violence in heterosexual relationships: An item response theory analysis

Authors

  • KATHERINE V. REGAN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Simon Fraser University, Canada
      should be addressed to Katherine V. Regan or Kim Bartholomew, Simon Fraser University, Department of Psychology, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6, e-mail: kvregan@sfu.ca; bartholo@sfu.ca.
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  • KIM BARTHOLOMEW,

    Corresponding author
    1. Simon Fraser University, Canada
      should be addressed to Katherine V. Regan or Kim Bartholomew, Simon Fraser University, Department of Psychology, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6, e-mail: kvregan@sfu.ca; bartholo@sfu.ca.
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  • MARILYN J. KWONG,

    1. Simon Fraser University, Canada
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  • SHANNA J. TRINKE,

    1. Simon Fraser University, Canada
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    • Shanna J. Trinke is now at Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University of Manitoba, Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada; Antonia J. Z. Henderson is now at Western Management Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

  • ANTONIA J. Z. HENDERSON

    1. Simon Fraser University, Canada
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  • This study was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Major Grant awarded to Kim Bartholomew. Preparation of the manuscript was supported by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship to Katherine V. Regan. A portion of this research was presented at the July 2004 International Association for Relationship Research Conference, Madison, Wisconsin.

should be addressed to Katherine V. Regan or Kim Bartholomew, Simon Fraser University, Department of Psychology, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6, e-mail: kvregan@sfu.ca; bartholo@sfu.ca.

Abstract

This study evaluated the structure of an expanded version of the physical violence scale of the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS). A community sample of 1,092 randomly selected men and women reported on perpetration and receipt of 14 violent acts in their relationships. Item response theory analyses indicated that the violence items were unidimensional for recipient and perpetrator reports of men's and women's violence. There was convergence between severity of acts as reported by perpetrators and recipients for both men's and women's violence. Results indicated that adding together the number of different acts endorsed to form a total score is appropriate for both men's and women's violence. Total scores were strongly related to likelihood of injury, supporting the validity of CTS-type measures to assess severity of violence.

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