Social Indicators Research

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 431–454 | Cite as

A Two-Dimensional Two-Layered Societal Index of Interpersonal Destructiveness: Internal Consistency Analysis

  • Oliver NahkurEmail author
  • Dagmar Kutsar
  • Rein Murakas


Although the World Health Assembly emphasized as early as in 1996 the need for violence prevention, there is still no generally accepted index for interpersonal destructiveness in a society. Hereby we propose a Societal Index of Interpersonal Destructiveness (SIID) that could be used to compare interpersonal violence in different societies. SIID is a composite of two sub-indices: (1) Index of Interpersonal Destructiveness Prerequisites, and (2) Index of Interpersonal Destructiveness Consequences. This study addresses the construction and internal consistency analysis of SIID. The Indices for periods 1989–1993, 1994–1999, 1999–2004, 2005–2007 and 2008–2010 are computed and for 28–48 countries, depending on availability of high quality and comparative data across time. We conclude that SIID has considerable potential as an internally consistent yardstick for evaluating and comparing the level of interpersonal destructiveness of societies worldwide.


Interpersonal violence Interpersonal destructiveness Composite indicator Societal Index of Interpersonal Destructiveness (SIID) Comparative violence index Violence measurement 



Special thanks to Prof. Rein Taagepera to his advice and suggestions to use logical modelling approach in Sect. 6. We would also like to thank Reigo Hendrikson for assistance in graph building. Article was written with the financial support from NORFACE Welfare State Futures Programme (Project HEALTHDOX 462-13-011).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Data sources

  1. Alwin, D. F. (2007). Margins of error: A study of reliability in survey measurement. Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anda, R. F., Croft, J. B., Felitti, V. J., Nordenberg, D., Giles, W. H., Williamson, D. F., et al. (1999). Adverse childhood experiences and smoking during adolescence and adulthood. JAMA, 282(17), 1652–1658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Appelberg, K. (1996). Interpersonal conflicts at work: Impact on health behavior, psychiatric morbidity and work disability. Helsinki: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.Google Scholar
  4. Barnett, R. C., Raudenbush, S. W., Brennan, R. T., Pleck, J. H., & Marshall, N. L. (1995). Change in job and marital experiences and change in psychological distress: a longitudinal study of dual-earner couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 839–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bauer, R. (1966). Social indicators. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bradley, R. H., & Corwyn, R. F. (2004). Life satisfaction among European American, African American, Chinese American, Mexican American, and Dominican American adolescents. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28(5), 385–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, J., Cohen, P., Johnson, J. G., & Smailes, E. M. (1999). Childhood abuse and neglect: specificity of effects on adolescent and young adult depression and suicidality. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38(12), 1490–1496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brumbaugh-Smith, J., Gross, H., Wollman, N., & Yoder, B. (2008). NIVAH: a composite index measuring violence and harm in the US. Social Indicators Research, 85(3), 351–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Butchart, A., Phinney, A., Check, P., & Villaveces, A. (2004). Preventing violence: A guide to implementing the recommendations of the World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  10. Butler, E. A., Egloff, B., Wlhelm, F. H., Smith, N. C., Erickson, E. A., & Gross, J. J. (2003). The social consequences of expressive suppression. Emotion, 3(1), 48–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cahn, D. D., & Abigail, R. A. (2007). Managing conflict through communication. Boston: Pearson Education Inc.Google Scholar
  12. Cavanagh, J., Owens, D., & Johnstone, E. (1999). Life events in suicide and undetermined death in south-east Scotland: A case-control study using the method of psychological autopsy. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 34(12), 645–650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Christian, J. L., O’Leary, K. D., & Vivian, D. (1994). Depressive symptomatology in martially discordant women and men: The role of individual and relationship variables. Journal of Family Psychology, 8(1), 32–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Conger, R. D., Lorenz, F. O., Elder, G. H, Jr., Simons, R. L., & Ge, X. (1993). Husband and wife differences in response to undesirable life events. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 34(1), 71–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Daatland, S. O., & Herlofson, K. (2003). ‘Lost solidarity’ or ‘changed solidarity’: A comparative European view of normative family solidarity. Ageing and Society, 23(05), 537–560. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X03001272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dahlberg, L. L., & Krug, E. G. (2002). Violence—A global public health problem. In E. G. Krug, L. L. Dahlberg, J. Mercy, A. B. Zwi, & R. Lozano (Eds.), World report on violence and health (pp. 1–21). Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  18. Dalgard, O. S., & Håheim, L. L. (1998). Psychosocial risk factors and mortality: A prospective study with special focus on social support, social participation, and locus of control in Norway. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 52(8), 476–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Darbonne, A., Uchino, B., & Ong, A. (2013). What mediates links between age and well-being? A test of social support and interpersonal conflict as potential interpersonal pathways. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14(3), 951–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Darity, W., & Goldsmith, A. H. (1996). Social psychology, unemployment and macroeconomics. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10(1), 121–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diener, E., Inglehart, R., & Tay, L. (2012). Theory and validity of life satisfaction scales. Social Indicators Research, 112(3), 497–527. doi: 10.1007/s11205-012-0076-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dinwiddie, S., Heath, A. C., Dunne, M. P., Bucholz, K. K., Madden, P. A., Slutske, W. S., et al. (2000). Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: A co-twin–control study. Psychological Medicine, 30(1), 41–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Diprose, R. (2007). Physical safety and security: A proposal for internationally comparable indicators of violence. Oxford Development Studies, 35(4), 431–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dweck, C. S., & Ehrlinger, J. (2006). Implicit theories and conflict resolution. In M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E. C. Marcus (Eds.), The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (pp. 317–330). San Francisco: Josey-Bass.Google Scholar
  25. Eisner, M. (2003). Long-term historical trends in violent crime. Crime and Justice, 30, 83–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D. F., Spitz, A. M., Edwards, V., et al. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14(4), 245–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fincham, F. D. (2003). Marital conflict correlates, structure, and context. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(1), 23–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fischbach, R. L., & Herbert, B. (1997). Domestic violence and mental health: Correlates and conundrums within and across cultures. Social Science and Medicine, 45(8), 1161–1176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Folger, J. P., Poole, M. S., & Stutman, R. K. (2005). Working through conflict: Strategies for relationships, groups, and organizations. Boston: Pearson Education Inc.Google Scholar
  30. Fors, F., & Kulin, J. (2015). Bringing affect back in: Measuring and comparing subjective well-being across countries. Social Indicators Research, 1–17. doi: 10.1007/s11205-015-0947-0.
  31. FRA. (2014). Violence against women: an EU-wide survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  32. Freudenberg, M. (2003). Composite indicators of country performance: A critical assessment. Paris: OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Frye, N. E., & Karney, B. R. (2006). The context of aggressive behavior in marriage: A longitudinal study of newlyweds. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(1), 12–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Graham-Bermann, S., & Gross, M. (2008). Ecological models of violence. Encyclopedia of Interpersonal violence, 2, 212–214.Google Scholar
  35. Hample, D. (2012). The life space of personalized conflicts. In M. E. Roloff (Ed.), Communication yearbook 22 (pp. 171–207). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Hample, D., & Dallinger, J. M. (1995). A Lewinian perspective on taking conflict personally: Revision, refinement, and validation of the instrument. Communication Quarterly, 43(3), 297–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hansen, Å. M., Hogh, A., Persson, R., Karlson, B., Garde, A. H., & Ørbæk, P. (2006). Bullying at work, health outcomes, and physiological stress response. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 60(1), 63–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Harburg, E., Kaciroti, N., Gleiberman, L., Julius, M., & Schork, M. A. (2008). Marital pair anger-coping types may act as an entity to affect mortality: Preliminary findings from a prospective study (Tecumseh, Michigan, 1971–1988). Journal of Family Communication, 8(1), 44–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hawker, D. S., & Boulton, M. J. (2000). Twenty years’ research on peer victimization and psychosocial maladjustment: A meta-analytic review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(4), 441–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Heise, L., & Garcia-Moreno, C. (2002). Violence by intimate partners. In E. G. Krug, L. L. Dahlberg, J. Mercy, A. B. Zwi, & R. Lozano (Eds.), World report on violence and health (pp. 87–121). Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  41. Heise, L. L. (2012). Determinants of partner violence in low and middle-income countries: Exploring variation in individual and population-level risk (Department of Global Health and Development). London: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.Google Scholar
  42. IEP. (2014). Global peace index 2014. Sydney: Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).Google Scholar
  43. Johnson, N. D., & Mislin, A. (2012). How much should we trust the World Values Survey trust question? Economics Letters, 116(2), 210–212. doi: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.02.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kernic, M. A., Wolf, M. E., & Holt, V. L. (2000). Rates and relative risk of hospital admission among women in violent intimate partner relationships. American Journal of Public Health, 90(9), 1416–1420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Krug, E. G., Dahlberg, L. L., Mercy, J., Zwi, A. B., & Wilson, A. (2002). The way forward: Recommendations for action. In E. G. Krug, L. L. Dahlberg, J. Mercy, A. B. Zwi, & R. Lozano (Eds.), World report on violence and health (pp. 241–254). Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  46. Kruger, J. (1998). A public health approach to violence prevention in South Africa. In R. van Eeden & M. Wentzel (Eds.), The dynamics of aggression and violence in South Africa (pp. 399–424). Pretoria: Human Sciences Reseach Council.Google Scholar
  47. Land, K. C., Michalos, A. C., & Sirgy, M. J. (2012). Prologue: The development and evolution of research on social indicators and quality of life (QOL). In K. C. Land, A. C. Michalos, & M. J. Sirgy (Eds.), Handbook of social indicators and quality of life research (pp. 1–22). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  49. Lewinsohn, P. M. (1974). A behavioral approach to depression. In R. J. Friedman & M. Katz (Eds.), The psychology of depression: Contemporary theory and research (pp. 112–139). Washington: Winston-Wiley.Google Scholar
  50. Marchand, J. F., & Hock, E. (2000). Avoidance and attacking conflict-resolution strategies among married couples: Relations to depressive symptoms and marital satisfaction. Family Relations, 49(2), 201–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Marum, G., Clench-Aas, J., Nes, R., & Raanaas, R. (2014). The relationship between negative life events, psychological distress and life satisfaction: A population-based study. Quality of Life Research, 23(2), 601–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mazziotta, M., & Pareto, A. (2013). Methods for constructing composite indices: One for all or all for one. Rivista Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, 67(2), 67–80.Google Scholar
  53. McCabe, M. P., Cummins, R. A., & Romeo, Y. (1996). Relationship status, relationship quality, and health. Journal of Family Studies, 2(2), 109–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Michalos, A. C., Smale, B., Labonté, R., Muharjarine, N., Scott, K., Moore, K., et al. (2011). The canadian index of wellbeing. Technical Report 1.0. Waterloo: Canadian Index of Wellbeing and University of Waterloo.Google Scholar
  55. Monti, M. (2005). Toughen up EU reform agenda and make it count. Financial Times. Published March 21.Google Scholar
  56. Nardo, M., Saisana, M., Saltelli, A., Tarantola, S., Hoffmann, A., & Giovannini, E. (2008). Handbook on constructing composite indicators: Methodology and user guide. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  57. Nelson, G. M., & Beach, S. R. (1990). Sequential interaction in depression: Effects of depressive behavior on spousal aggression. Behavior Therapy, 21(2), 167–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Nevala, S. (2005). International violence against women survey. Paper presented at the Violence against women: a statistical overview, challenges and gaps in data collection and methodology and approaches for overcoming them, Geneva, 11–14 April.Google Scholar
  59. Ní Mhaoláin, A. M., Gallagher, D., Connell, O. H., Chin, A., Bruce, I., Hamilton, F., et al. (2012). Subjective well-being amongst community-dwelling elders: what determines satisfaction with life? Findings from the dublin healthy aging study. International Psychogeriatrics, 24(02), 316–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Noll, H.-H. (2002). Social indicators and quality of life research: Background, achievements and current trends. In N. Genov (Ed.), Advances in sociological knowledge over half a century. Paris: International Social Science Council.Google Scholar
  61. Norman, R. E., Byambaa, M., De, R., Butchart, A., Scott, J., & Vos, T. (2012). The long-term health consequences of child physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS medicine, 9(11), e1001349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Olson, L., Huyler, F., Lynch, A. W., Fullerton, L., Werenko, D., Sklar, D., et al. (1999). Guns, alcohol, and intimate partner violence: The epidemiology of female suicide in New Mexico. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 20(3), 121–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Papp, L. M., Cummings, E. M., & Goeke-Morey, M. C. (2009). For richer, for poorer: Money as a topic of marital conflict in the home. Family Relations, 58(1), 91–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Reis, H. T., & Franks, P. (1994). The role of intimacy and social support in health outcomes: Two processes or one? Personal Relationships, 1(2), 185–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ren, X. S. (1997). Marital status and quality of relationships: The impact on health perception. Social Science and Medicine, 44(2), 241–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Revelle, W., & Zinbarg, R. E. (2009). Coefficients alpha, beta, omega, and the glb: Comments on Sijtsma. Psychometrika, 74(1), 145–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Richards, J. M., Butler, E. A., & Gross, J. J. (2003). Emotion regulation in romantic relationships: The cognitive consequences of concealing feelings. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20(5), 599–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rivers, I., & Smith, P. K. (1994). Types of bullying behaviour and their correlates. Aggressive Behavior, 20(5), 359–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Roloff, M. E., & Chiles, B. W. (2011). Interpersonal conflict: Recent trends. In M. L. Knapp & J. A. Daly (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of interpersonal communication (4th ed., pp. 423–442). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
  70. Roloff, M. E., & Wright, C. N. (2013). Social cognition and conflict. In J. G. Oetzel & S. Ting-Toomey (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of conflict communication: Integrating theory, reseach, and practice (pp. 133–160). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Runyan, D., Wattam, C., Ikeda, R., Hassan, F., & Ramiro, L. (2002). Child abuse and neglect by parents and other caregivers. In E. G. Krug, L. L. Dahlberg, J. Mercy, A. B. Zwi, & R. Lozano (Eds.), World report on violence and health (pp. 57–86). Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  72. Sadowski, L. S., Hunter, W. M., Bangdiwala, S. I., & Muñoz, S. R. (2004). The world studies of abuse in the family environment (WorldSAFE): A model of a multi-national study of family violence. Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 11(2), 81–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Saltelli, A. (2007). Composite indicators between analysis and advocacy. Social Indicators Research, 81(1), 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Santa Mina, E. E., & Gallop, R. M. (1998). Childhood sexual and physical abuse and adult self-harm and suicidal behaviour: A literature review. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 43(8), 793–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Schmaling, K. B., & Jacobson, N. S. (1990). Marital interaction and depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99(3), 229–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Schumacher, J. A., Feldbau-Kohn, S., Slep, A. M. S., & Heyman, R. E. (2001). Risk factors for male-to-female partner physical abuse. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 6(2), 281–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Spitzberg, B. H., & Cupach, W. R. (2011). Interpersonal Skills. In M. L. Knapp & J. A. Daly (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of interpersonal communication (4th ed., pp. 481–524). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
  78. Stith, S. M., Liu, T., Davies, L. C., Boykin, E. L., Alder, M. C., Harris, J. M., et al. (2009). Risk factors in child maltreatment: A meta-analytic review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(1), 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Stith, S. M., Smith, D. B., Penn, C. E., Ward, D. B., & Tritt, D. (2004). Intimate partner physical abuse perpetration and victimization risk factors: A meta-analytic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 10(1), 65–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Swami, V., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Sinniah, D., Maniam, T., Kannan, K., Stanistreet, D., et al. (2007). General health mediates the relationship between loneliness, life satisfaction and depression. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 42(2), 161–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Sweeting, H., Young, R., West, P., & Der, G. (2006). Peer victimization and depression in early–mid adolescence: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(3), 577–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zillmann, D. (1988). Cognition-excitation interdependences in aggressive behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 14(1), 51–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Taagepera, R. (2014). Logical models and basic numeracy in social sciences. 1 April 2014.
  84. Taylor, S. E. (2006). Health psychology (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  85. Thacore, V. R., & Varma, S. L. (2000). A study of suicides in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 21(1), 26–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Thompson, M. P., Kaslow, N. J., Kingree, J. B., Puett, R., Thompson, N. J., & Meadows, L. (1999). Partner abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder as risk factors for suicide attempts in a sample of low-income, inner-city women. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 12(1), 59–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Ting-Toomey, S., & Oetzel, J. G. (2013). Introduction to interpersonal conflict. In S. Ting-Toomey & J. G. Oetzel (Eds.), Introduction to interpersonal conflict (pp. 99–103). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
  88. Trompetter, H., Scholte, R., & Westerhof, G. (2011). Resident-to-resident relational aggression and subjective well-being in assisted living facilities. Aging and Mental Health, 15(1), 59–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. WHO (2014). Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014. Geneva.Google Scholar
  90. Wolf, R., Daichman, L., & Bennett, G. (2002). Abuse of the elderly. In E. G. Krug, L. L. Dahlberg, J. Mercy, A. B. Zwi, & R. Lozano (Eds.), World report on violence and health. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  91. Wright, B. L., & Loving, T. J. (2011). Health implications of conflict in close relationships. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(8), 552–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Värnik, A., Sisask, M., & Värnik, P. (2010). Baltic suicide paradox. Tallinn: Tallinn University Press.Google Scholar
  93. Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K., Tirri, K., Nokelainen, P., & Dweck, C. S. (2011). Adolescents’ implicit theories predict desire for vengeance after remembered and hypothetical peer conflicts: Correlational and experimental evidence. Developmental Psychology, 47(4), 1090–1107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Integrated Values Surveys 1981–2008. EVS (2011). European Values Study 1981–2008, Longitudinal Data File. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne, Germany, ZA4804, v2.0.0. doi: 10.4232/1.11005 WVS (2009). World Value Survey 1981–2008 official aggregate v.20090901, 2009. World Values Survey Association ( Aggregate File Producer: ASEP/JDS, Madrid.
  95. Solt, F. (2013). Standardized World Income Inequality Database, Version 4.0.
  96. World Bank Open Data.
  97. World Health Organization Mortality Database.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Social Policy, Institute of Social StudiesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Chair of Social Work, Institute of Social StudiesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Chair of Sociology, Institute of Social StudiesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

Personalised recommendations