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Development and Validation of a Coercive Control Measure for Intimate Partner Violence: Final Technical Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
Mary Ann Dutton, Lisa Goodman, R. James Schmidt
This project developed and tested a measure of nonviolent coercive control as a means of assessing the dynamics of an intimate partner relationship that involved violence.
Testing of the measurement model found that there was a significant relationship between scores on the coercion scale and the relationship behaviors of demands, surveillance (close monitoring of the partner's activities), and violence against the partner. Scores on the coercion scale were also related to measures of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, assessments of the threat of violence, and fear. The researchers conclude that the measure of coercion is directly related to intimate partner violence and does not reflect general emotional distress. These findings were the same for separate measures of males and females. The study team developed a conceptual model of coercive control by conducting a comprehensive literature review and refining the model through collaboration with a panel of experts. A valid measure of nonviolent coercive control was developed by using ethnographic and classical test theory methodologies to construct the measure. The validity of the coercive control measure was assessed in a sample (n=757) that included both males (n=302) and females (n=448), those reporting being victims of intimate partner violence only (n=139), perpetrators of intimate partner violence only (n=39), both victims and offenders (n=245), and neither victims nor offenders. 11 exhibits, 56 references, and 13 appendixes that provide details on the development and testing of the measures of nonviolent coercive control
Date Created: June 15, 2006