Sex Roles

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 637–660

Measuring Sexual Relationship Power in HIV/STD Research


  • Julie Pulerwitz
    • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Steven L. Gortmaker
    • Harvard School of Public Health
  • William DeJong
    • Harvard School of Public Health

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007051506972

Cite this article as:
Pulerwitz, J., Gortmaker, S.L. & DeJong, W. Sex Roles (2000) 42: 637. doi:10.1023/A:1007051506972


This article introduces a theoretically based and validated measure of relationship power dynamics: the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS). Focus groups were conducted to generate items for Spanish- and English-language scales. The SRPS was administered to a census of women (N = 388) at a community health clinic. All respondents had a primary male partner; they were mostly Latina (89%), with mean age 27 years. The 23-item SRPS possesses good internal reliability (coefficient alpha = .84 for English version, .88 for Spanish version) and predictive and construct validity. Factor analyses support two subscales: Relationship Control and Decision-Making Dominance. As hypothesized, the SRPS was inversely associated with physical violence and directly associated with education and consistent condom use (p < .05).

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000