Developing an Index to Measure Violence Against Women for Comparative Studies Between Mexico and the United States

Research paper by Roberto Castro, Lorena García, Agustín Ruíz, Corinne Peek-Asa

Indexed on: 18 Aug '06Published on: 18 Aug '06Published in: Journal of family violence


Very few scales exist that measure violence against women and allow for comparative studies between Mexico and the United States. In this article, we present the results of a validation exercise for just such a scale. The scale was designed using, as a basis, some of the items in the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) and the Index of Spouse Abuse (ISA), in an attempt to differentiate among three types of violence: physical, psychological, and sexual. One hundred and twenty women from diverse social groups in each country responded to a questionnaire in which they were asked to consider the severity of each item on a scale from 1 to 100. Factorial analysis confirms that women assign a different average weight to each type of violence. An analysis of variance test confirms that the different groups of women interviewed evaluated each type of violence in a consistent manner. Very reasonable alpha coefficients were obtained. The paper concludes by demonstrating with an example the use of the scale in prediction modeling.