Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 151–162 | Cite as

An ego-strength scale for the Child Abuse Potential Inventory

  • Joel S. Milner


A series of investigations were conducted to develop an ego-strength scale from items in the Child Abuse Potential Inventory. Using a two-dimensional model of ego-strength, face valid items were selected. After an initial screening of face valid items using Barron's ego-strength scale, a multiple criterion item validation process was conducted using factors from the 16PF questionnaire. This procedure produced a 40-item ego-strength scale where all items had significant item-total correlations. Internal consistency and temporal stability of the ego-strength scale were found to be adequate. Factor analyses suggested the ego-strength scale is unitary, measuring emotional stability in relationships. Moderator variable effects were found to be modest. Most important, ego-strength scale data collected from nurturing parents, general population parents, at-risk parents, and groups engaging in various forms of family violence yielded scores that discriminate between groups in a predictable manner.

Key words

ego-strength self-esteem child abuse screening 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, S. C., and Lauderdale, M. L. (1982). Characteristics of abusive parents: A look at self-esteem.Child Abuse Neglect, 6: 285–293.Google Scholar
  2. Ayoub, C., Jacewitz, M. M., Gold, R. G., and Milner, J. S. (1983). Assessment of a program's effectiveness in selecting individuals “At Risk” for problems in parenting.J. Clin. Psychol. 39: 334–339.Google Scholar
  3. Barron, F. (1953). An ego-strength scale which predicts response to psychotherapy.J. Consult. Psychol. 17: 327–333.Google Scholar
  4. Blumberg, M. L. (1974). Psychopathology of the abusing parent.Am. J: Psychother. 28: 21–29.Google Scholar
  5. Cattell, R. B., Eber, H. W., and Tatsuoka, M. M. (1970).Handbook for the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF), Institute for Personality and Ability Testing, Inc., Champaign, Ill.Google Scholar
  6. Chan, D. A., and Perry, M. A. (1981).Child abuse, discriminating factors toward a positive outcome, Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston.Google Scholar
  7. Couron, B. L. (1982). Assessing parental potentials for child abuse in contrast to nurturing (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University, 1981).Diss. Abstr. Int. 43: 3412B.Google Scholar
  8. Evans, A. L. (1980). Personality characteristics and disciplinary attitudes of child-abusing mothers.Child Abuse Neglect 4: 179–187.Google Scholar
  9. Friedrich, W. N., and Wheeler, K. K. (1982). The abusing parent revisited: A decade of psychological research.J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 10: 577–587.Google Scholar
  10. Galdston, R. (1965). Observations on children who have been physically abused and their parents.Am. J. Psychiat. 122: 440–443.Google Scholar
  11. Green, A. H. (1980).Child Maltreatment, Jason Aronson, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Johnson, B., and Morse, H. A. (1968). Injured children and their parents.Children 15: 147–152.Google Scholar
  13. Melnick, B., and Hurley, J. R. (1969). Distinctive personality attributes of child-abusing mothers.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 33: 746–749.Google Scholar
  14. Milner, J. S. (1986).The Child Abuse Potential Inventory: Manual (second edition), Psytec Corp., Webster, N.C.Google Scholar
  15. Milner, J. S., and Gold, R. G. (1986). Screening spouse abusers for child abuse potential.J. Clin. Psychol. 42: 169–172.Google Scholar
  16. Milner, J. S., Gold, R. G., Ayoub, C., and Jacewitz, M. M. (1984). Predictive validity of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 52: 879–884.Google Scholar
  17. Milner, J. S., Gold, R. G., and Wimberley, R. C. (1986). Prediction and explanation of child abuse: Cross-validation of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 54: 865–866.Google Scholar
  18. Robertson, K. R., and Milner, J. S. (1983). Construct validity of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory.J. Clin. Psychol. 39: 426–429.Google Scholar
  19. Robertson, K. R., and Milner, J. S. (1985). Convergent and discriminant validity of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory.J. Personal. Assess. 49: 86–88.Google Scholar
  20. Rosen, B. (1978). Self-concept disturbance among mothers whose abuse thier children.Psychological Rep. 43: 323–326.Google Scholar
  21. Shavelson, R. J., Hubner, J. J., and Stanton, G. C. (1976). Self-concept: Validation of construct interpretations.Rev. Educat. Res. 46: 407–441.Google Scholar
  22. Steele, B. F. (1980). Psychodynamic factors in child abuse. In Kempe, C. H., and Helfer, R. F. (eds.),The Battered Child, University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  23. Steele, B. F., and Pollock, C. B. (1968). A psychiatric study of parents who abuse infants and small children. In Helfer, R. E., and Kempe, C. H. (eds.),The Battered Child, University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  24. Wolfe, D. A. (1985). Child-abusive parents: An empirical review and analysis.Psychological Bull. 97: 462–482.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel S. Milner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalb

Personalised recommendations