Measuring Sexual Relationship Power in HIV/STD Research


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).

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Pulerwitz, J., Gortmaker, S.L. & DeJong, W. Measuring Sexual Relationship Power in HIV/STD Research. Sex Roles 42, 637–660 (2000) doi:10.1023/A:1007051506972

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  • Focus Group
  • Social Psychology
  • Community Health
  • Construct Validity
  • Coefficient Alpha