Measurement of intimate partner violence: A model for developing the gold standard

Diane R. Follingstad, Heather M. Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: To present the rationale and arguments behind the proposition that the field of intimate partner violence (IPV) would greatly benefit from developing gold standard instrumentation that would be expected to advance this field of scientific inquiry and to propose a phased model for accomplishing the development of such instrumentation. Method: A summary critique of historical controversies in the measurement of IPV is presented and ongoing problems with assessment specific to IPV are raised. Current difficulties with measurement of the current structures of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are delineated. The argument is made for measurement that demonstrates improvement over current instrumentation that would be used consistently by researchers in the field. Adapting existing models of phased trials and a task force with working groups to establish psychosocial constructs through empirically based consensus, a working plan is proposed to develop instrumentation that would exist as the gold standard instrumentation for IPV assessment. Conclusion: The creation of better validated measurement tools for the assessment of intimate partner abuse within intimate relationships would result in increased understanding of research findings, enhance comparability of research, increase credibility within the field, and produce a replicable working strategy for developing gold standard measurement in comparable fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-383
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Psychological Association.


  • Assessment
  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Measurement
  • Partner abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology


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