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Reliability, Validity, and Prevalence of Partner Violence Measured by the Conflict Tactics Scales in Male-Dominant Nations

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 17 Issue: 5 Dated: September/October 2012 Pages: 463-474
Date Published
October 2012
12 pages

This study evaluated the reliability and validity of the conflict tactics scale for use in examining the problem of partner violence in male-dominant countries.


This article evaluates whether use of the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) with women in male-dominant nations results in reliable and valid data. Tabulation of 10 published studies in male-dominant nations found a median alpha coefficient of reliability of .86. For university students in the 32 nation International Dating Violence Study, the median alpha for women is .82 and .78 for males. Similar alpha coefficients were found regardless of the national level of male-dominance. Validity was measured by estimating the sensitivity of the CTS in eliciting data on perpetration of physical assault, by evaluating the degree to which assaults reported by the women were acts of self-defense, and by construct validity analyses to test the hypothesis that being a victim of physical assault as measured by the CTS is associated with physical injury, depressive symptoms, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. The hypothesized relationships were found regardless of the degree of male dominance in a nation. The results support continued use of the CTS to investigate PV in the lives of women worldwide. The discussion suggests that the effort to combat violence against women could be enhanced by using the full CTS to provide data on perpetration by women as well as victimization of women. (Published Abstract)

Date Published: October 1, 2012