Toward a better estimate of the prevalence of partner abuse: Adjusting rates based on the sensitivity of the conflict tactics scale

Richard Heyman, Karin A. Schlee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Studies of spousal aggression, such as the national studies typically cited for prevalence rates (M. A. Straus & R. J. Gelles, 1986; M. A. Straus, R. J. Gelles, & S. K. Steinmetz, 1980), frequently use reports from only one spouse to calculate yearly prevalence. To date, no correction factor exists to help one estimate what the rates would have been had reports from both spouses been available. In this study, the authors calculate the epidemiological sensitivity of the Conflict Tactics Scale (M. A. Straus, 1979) in clinical and newly married samples and use the sensitivity figures to provide a correction equation. Correction factors are also provided for three previously published studies of interspousal agreement. The equations provided can be used to make rough estimates of the rate of male-to-female aggression when data from only one spouse are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)

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