Creating and field-testing diagnostic criteria for partner and child maltreatment.

Research paper by Richard E RE Heyman, Amy M AM Smith Slep

Indexed on: 30 Aug '06Published on: 30 Aug '06Published in: Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43)


An integrated set of diagnostic criteria for partner abuse and child abuse and neglect were developed and tested in 4 studies conducted with a branch of America's largest family maltreatment protection agency (i.e., the U.S. military's Family Advocacy Program). Maltreatment criteria then in force were found to have adequate levels of content validity, but experts' and users' feedback indicated ambiguities and poorly specified criteria that undermined reliable application. Criteria incorporating elements of the best existing civilian and military operationalizations were developed and evaluated in two field trials. The final definitions were found to support very high levels of agreement (92%) between base adjudicating committees and master reviewers.