ERIC Number: ED410301
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Measuring Physical & Psychological Maltreatment of Children with the Conflict Tactics Scales.
Straus, Murray A.; Hamby, Sherry L.
The Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) are intended to measure use of nonviolent discipline, psychological aggression, and physical assault in parent-child and other family relationships. The latter two scales provide a basis for identifying psychological and physical maltreatment. Two revisions of the CTS became available in 1996. One, the CTS2 is designed to measure relationships between partners in a marital, cohabiting, or dating relationship, while the other, the CTSPC is designed for measuring parent-child relationships. This paper makes available information based on the original CTS and the CTSPC to facilitate understanding and appropriate use. Research results suggest that the internal consistency reliability of the scales are low because parents who engage in one type of maltreatment do not necessarily maltreat the child in other ways. Despite this, when the CTS and CTSPC have been used in epidemiological surveys, they have revealed many more cases of child abuse than have been reported to child protective services. Nevertheless, research suggests that these CTS rates must be regarded as lower bound estimates. Additionally, clinical screening with the scales, while identifying many cases that would not otherwise be known, will still miss many cases. A substantial body of evidence supports the construct validity of these measures, and the brevity and minimal reading level of the scales make them feasible for clinical screening, survey research, tracking progress among families receiving services, and for obtaining data on the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs. Two appendixes present the original CTS and CTSPC items by scale and subscale and a discussion of prevalence rates and chronicity of maltreatment. (Contains 71 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.; New Hampshire Univ., Durham.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Conflict Tactics Scale