ERIC Number: ED363816
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Feb
Measurement Instruments in Child Abuse Research.
Straus, Murray A.
This study was conducted to examine the extent to which instruments that meet minimal psychometric standards have been used in child abuse research. Data were obtained by analysis of all 714 papers on child abuse and neglect published in "Child Abuse and Neglect" (1979-1989), "Journal of Interpersonal Violence" (1986-1989), "Journal of Family Violence" (1986-1989) and "Violence and Victims" (1986-1989). The instruments were classified into four categories: (1) maltreatment; (2) effects of maltreatment; (3) risk factors/causes of maltreatment; and (4) other. The 714 articles used 83 different instruments, 24 of which were used in two of more studies. However, 81% of the articles used no instrument (as defined in the study). The least frequently measured phenomenon in the 137 articles that used measures was abuse itself; only 14% of instruments used measured the presence or severity of maltreatment. Forty-one percent of the instruments identified risk factors or causes of maltreatment, 38% were measures of hypothesized effects of abuse, and 7% were measures of the effects of a sexual abuse prevention program. There was one measure of social desirability response tendency. These results suggest that research on child abuse has made minimal use of multi-indicator measures with known reliability and validity. (The discussion section focuses on possible reasons for this and suggestions for remedial steps. A list of the 83 instruments is appended.) (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHHS/OHDS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A