A Systematic Review of the Psychometric Properties of the Sexual Relationship Power Scale in HIV/AIDS Research
The Sexual Relationship Power Scale (SRPS) was developed over a decade ago to address the lack of reliable and valid measures of relationship power in social, behavioral and medical research. The SRPS and its two subscales (relationship control [RC], decision-making dominance [DMD]) have been used extensively in the field of HIV prevention and sexual risk behavior. We performed a systematic review of the psychometric properties of the SRPS and subscales as reported in the HIV/AIDS literature from 2000 to 2012. A total of 54 published articles were identified, which reported reliability or construct validity estimates of the scales. Description of the psychometric properties of the SRPS and subscales is reported according to study population, and several cross-population trends were identified. In general, the SRPS and RC subscale exhibited sound psychometric properties across multiple study populations and research settings. By contrast, the DMD subscale had relatively weak psychometric properties, especially when used with specific populations and research settings. Factors that influenced the psychometric properties of the various scales and subscales included the study population, mean age of the sample, number of items retained in the scale, and modifications to the original scales. We conclude with recommendations for (1) the application and use of the SRPS and subscales, (2) reporting of psychometric properties of the scales in the literature, and (3) areas for future research.
KeywordsSexual Relationship Power Scale Psychometrics HIV AIDS
Funding for this study was provided by a Grant to Dr. McMahon from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA15641). Further support was provided by the University of Rochester Center for AIDS Research (P30AI078498). Marilyn Nickerson provided technical assistance.
- Amaro, H., Larson, M. J., Zhang, A., Acevedo, A., Dai, J., & Marsumoto, A. (2007). Effects of trauma intervention on HIV sexual risk behaviors among women with co-occurring disorders in substance abuse treatment. Journal of Community Psychology, 35, 895–908. doi: 10.1002/jcpo.20188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bermudez, M. P., Castro, A., Gude, F., & Buela-Casal, G. (2010). Relationship power in the couple and sexual double standard as predictors of the risk of sexual transmission infections and HIV: Multicultural and gender differences. Current HIV Research, 8, 172–178. doi: 10.2174/157016210790442669.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Campbell, A. N., Tross, S., Dworkin, S. L., Hu, M. C., Manuel, J., Pavlicova, M., & Nunes, E. V. (2009). Relationship power and sexual risk among women in community-based substance abuse treatment. Journal of Urban Health, 86(6), 951–964. doi: 10.1007/s11524-009-9405-0.
- Connell, R. W. (1987). Gender and power. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Dunkle, K. L., Jewkes, R., Brown, H. C., Gray, G. E., McIntryre, J. A., & Harlow, S. D. (2004). Gender-based violence, relationship power, and risk of HIV infection in women attending antenatal clinics in South Africa. Lancet, 363(9419), 1415–1421. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dunkle, K. L., Jewkes, R., Nduna, M., Jama Shai, N. J., Levin, J., Sikweyiya, Y., & Koss, M. P. (2007). Transactional sex with casual and main partners among young South African men in the rural Eastern Cape: Prevalence, predictors, and associations with gender-based violence. Social Science & Medicine, 65(6), 1235–1248. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.04.029.
- Emerson, R. M. (1972). Exchange theory part I: A psychological basis for social exchange. In J. Berger, M. J. Selditch, & B. Anderson (Eds.), Sociological theories in progress (Vol. 2, pp. 38–57). Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Emerson, R. M. (1981). Social exchange theory. In M. Rosenberg & R. H. Turner (Eds.), Social psychology: Sociological perspectives (pp. 30–65). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Frye, V., Latka, M. H., Wu, Y., Valverde, E. E., Knowlton, A. R., Knight, K. R., … INSPIRE Study Team. (2007). Intimate partner violence perpetration against main female partners among HIV-positive male injection drug users. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 46(Suppl 2), S101–S109. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31815767e6.
- Groves, A. K., Kagee, A., Maman, S., Moodley, D., & Rouse, P. (2012). Association between intimate partner violence and emotional distress among pregnant women in Durban, South Africa. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(7), 1341–1356. doi: 10.1177/0886260511425247.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hatcher, A. M., Tsai, A. C., Kumbakumba, E., Dworkin, S. L., Hunt, P. W., Martin, J. N., … Weiser, S. D. (2012). Sexual relationship power and depression among HIV-infected women in rural Uganda. PLoS One, 7(12), e49821. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049821.
- Jewkes, R., Dunkle, K., Nduna, M., Levin, J., Jama Shai, N. P., Khuzwayo, N., … Duvvury, N. (2006). Factors associated with HIV sero-status in young rural South African women: Connections between intimate partner violence and HIV. International Journal of Epidemiology, 35(6), 1461–1468. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyl218.
- Ketchen, B., Armistead, L., & Cook, S. (2009). HIV infection, stressful life events, and intimate relationship power: The moderating role of community resources for black South African women. Women and Health, 49(2–3), 197–214. doi: 10.1080/03630240902963648.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Knudsen, H., Leukefeld, D. W. W., Havens, J. R., Duvall, J. L., Oser, C. B., Staton-Tindall, M., … Inciardi, J. A. (2008). Partner relationships and HIV risk behaviors among women offenders. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 40(4), 471–481. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2008.10400653.
- Koblin, B. A., Hoover, D. R., Xu, G., Frye, V., Latka, M. H., Lucy, D., & Bonner, S. (2010). Correlates of anal intercourse vary by partner type among substance-using women: Baseline data from the UNITY study. AIDS & Behavior, 14, 132-140. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9440-y.
- Lau, J. T., Yang, X., Wang, Q., Cheng, Y., Tsui, H. Y., Mui, L. W. H., & Kim, J. H. (2006). Gender power and marital relationships as predictors of sexual dysfunction and sexual satisfaction among young married couples in rural China: A population-based study. Urology, 67(3), 579–585. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2005.09.039.
- Leukefeld, C., Havens, J., Tindall, M. S., Oser, C. B., Mooney, J., Hall, M. T., & Knudsen, H. K. (2012). Risky relationships: Targeting HIV prevention for women offenders. AIDS Education and Prevention, 24(4), 339–349. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2012.24.4.339.
- Mosack, K. E., Randolph, M. E., Dickson-Gomez, J., Abbott, M., Smith, E., & Weeks, M. R. (2010). Sexual risk-taking among high-risk urban women with and without histories of childhood sexual abuse: Mediating effects of contextual factors. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 19(1), 43–61. doi: 10.1080/10538710903485591.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Nduna, M., Jewkes, R. K., Dunkle, K. L., Jama Shai, N. P., & Colman, I. (2010). Associations between depressive symptoms, sexual behaviour and relationship characteristics: a prospective cohort study of young women and men in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 13, 44. doi: 10.1186/1758-2652-13-44.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Nnadi-Okolo, E. E. (1990). Health research design and methodology. CRC Press.Google Scholar
- Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Ronfeldt, H. M., Kimerling, R., & Arias, I. (1998). Satisfaction with relationship power and the perpetration of dating violence. Journal of Marriage and Family, 60(1), 70-78.Google Scholar
- Salazar, L. F., Head, S., Crosby, R. A., DiClemente, R. J., Sales, J. M., Wingood, G. M., & Rose, E. (2011). Personal and social influences regarding oral sex among African American female adolescents. Journal of Women’s Health, 20(2), 161–167. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2247.
- Sayles, J. N., Pettifor, A., Wong, M. D., MacPhail, C., Lee, S., & Hendriksen, E. (2006). Factors associated with self-efficacy for condom use and sexual negotiation among South African youth. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 43(2), 226–233. doi: 10.1097/01.qui.0000230527.17459.5.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sebelius, K. (2011). Report on Activities Related to “Improving Women’s Health” As Required by the Affordable Care Act, (P.L. 111-148, Section 3509).Google Scholar
- Shannon, K., Leiter, K., Phaladze, N., Hlanze, Z., Tsai, A. C., Heisler, M.,… Weiser, S. D. (2012). Gender inequity norms are associated with increased male-perpetrated rape and sexual risks for HIV infection in Botswana and Swaziland. PLoS One, 7(1), e28739. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028739.
- Steffenson, A. E., Pettifor, A. E., Seage, G. R. I., Rees, H. V., & Cleary, P. D. (2011). Concurrent sexual partnerships and human immunodeficiency virus risk among South African youth. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 38(6), 459–466. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3182080860.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ulibarri, M. D., Strathdee, S. A., Lozada, R., Magis-Rodriguez, C., Amaro, H., O’Campo, P., & Patterson, T. L. (2010). Intimate partner violence among female sex workers in two Mexico-U.S. border cities: Partner characteristics and HIV risk behaviors as correlates of abuse. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, 2(4), 318-325. doi: 10.1037/a0017500.
- Volpe, E. M., Hardie, T. L., & Cerulli, C. (2012). Associations among depressive symptoms, dating violence, and relationship power in urban, adolescent girls. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 41, 506–518. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01384.x.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Weeks, M. R., Li, J., Coman, E., Abbott, M., Sylla, L., Corbett, M., & Dickson-Gomez, J. (2010). Multilevel social influences on female condom use and adoption among women in the urban United States. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 24(5), 297–309. doi: 10.1089/apc.2009.0312.
- World Health Organization. (2009). Woman and health: Today’s evidence, tomorrow‘s agenda. Geneva: Switzerland.Google Scholar