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Conflict Resolution - Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) « Parenting « Surveys/Scales « Downloads

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Date postedFebruary 7, 2012
Downloaded1706 times
CategoriesParenting, Violence, Surveys/Scales, Conflict, Communication

Description

Background:
The CTS is designed so that it can obtain data on all possible dyadic combinations of family members. Possible CTS combinations include husband-to-wife violence/conflict, wife-to-husband violence/conflict, parent-to-child violence/conflict and child-to-parent violence/conflict. Originally developed by Straus (1979), the CTS is a widely used (over 70,000 empirical studies have used it) and thoroughly evaluated (approximately 400 papers) measure of interpersonal aggression in married or cohabitating relationships. Note that it is not a measure of attitudes toward violence, but rather, a measure of conflict resolution events that involve violence. The scales also measure psychological abusiveness and the use of negotiation and reasoning by either partner to reduce conflict. Although the CTS has undergone numerous revisions in the past 15 years, its basic structure has remained the same. The most recent version contains several scales: reasoning/negotiation (6 items), psychological aggression (8 items), physical assault (12 items), sexual coercion (7 items), and a consequence (physical injury) (6 items) scale. The 39 items are rated on a 8-point frequency scale (never, once, twice, 3-5 times, 6-10 times, 11-20 times, and more than 20 times, not in the past year but it did happen before). Interpersonal problem-resolution behaviors range from benign (e.g., A…when you had a dispute have spouse discussed the issue calmly) to dangerous (e.g., “Has your spouse threatened you with a knife or gun). Each question is asked in terms of both respondent’s and partner’s behavior.

The Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) or some adaptation thereof, has frequently been used to develop a composite picture of violence in relationships. The CTS measures the frequency of abuse by adding up individual incidents of violence by husbands and wives, but does not take into account the severity of violence, whether the violence was defensive in nature (Yllo, 1988), or patterns of control such as outlined by Johnson (1995). Critics of the CTS imply that “it ignores gendered power imbalances that exist within the marriage and society and excludes crucial details about motives, intentions, and consequences” (Johnson, 1996, p. 57).

The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2) is a 39-item self-report scale rated on a 8-point frequency scale (never, once, twice, 3-5 times, 6-10 times, 11-20 times, and more than 20 times, not in the past year but it did happen before) which contains five subscales with each subscale has minor and severe levels. The CTS2 provides rates of ever prevalence and annual prevalence (or incidence) of spousal violence, as well as chronicity and severity for the following aspects of spousal conflicts:

(i) Negotiation;
(ii) Psychological aggression;
(iii) Physical assault;
(iv) Physical injury; and
(v) Sexual Coercion.

.Developers:
Strauss, 1979

References:
The Conflict Tactics Scales and its critics: An evaluation and new data on validity and reliability.” In Physical violence in American families Risk factors and adaptations to violence, ed. Murray A. Straus, and Richard J. Gelles. 49-73. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publications. 1990a.

Injury, frequency, and me representative sample fallacy in measuring wife beating and child abuse ” In Physical Violence in American families: Risk factors and adaptations to violence, ed. Murray A. Straus, and Richard J. Gelles. 75-89. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publications. 1990b.

Strauss, MA (1979). Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The Conflict Tactics Scales. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 41, 75-81.

Reliability:
Reliability ranges from .79 to .95 and initial evidence of construct validity has been obtained (reliability and validity of the scale are well-established, and early factor analysis revealed constructs representing 1) verbal reasoning, 2) psychological abuse/aggression, 3) physical aggression, and 4) life-threatening violence (see Strauss, 1990 for a thorough psychometric summarization).

Population:
Family