Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 203–221 | Cite as

A scale for measuring propensity for abusiveness

  • Donald G. Dutton


A brief self-report scale is described that assesses propensity for male abusiveness of a female partner in intimate relationships. The scale items are nonreactive, containing no explicit reference to abusive behavior. The scale has good psychometric properties, with a Cronbach's alpha of .91 and three distinct factors. The scale was validated against reports of abuse victimization by mens'’ female partners using the Psychological Maltreatment of Women Inventory (Tolman, 1988). The scale correlated .51 with women's reports of male Domination/Isolation tactics and .47 with Emotional Abuse scale scores. A discriminant function for high vs. low abusiveness indicated that the Propensity for Abusiveness Scale (PAS) correctly classified 82.2% of men into high (one standard deviation above the mean) or low abusiveness (one standard deviation below) abusiveness. Social desirability corrections do not significantly alter the pattern of correlations of the PAS with criterion variables. A cross-validation of the scale supported the initial results. The scale also correlates significantly with physical abuse.

Key words

wife abuse wife assault prediction scale 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald G. Dutton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada

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