Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

P.Timmons Fritz

Second Advisor


Third Advisor



Coercive control, Intimate partner violence, Measurement



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Researchers studying intimate partner violence (IPV) have highlighted a need for a standard way of measuring and conceptualizing coercive control (CC). The inconsistent measurement of CC has limited extant research and thwarted practitioners and legal professionals’ understanding and responsiveness to CC. As such, the purpose of the current study was to create and examine the psychometric properties of a short, theory-driven screening measure of CC, entitled “the Coercive Control Screening Scale” (CCSS). A comprehensive literature review, exploratory factor analyses (Ns =273 and 223) student review/cognitive questioning (N =14), and expert consultation (N =16) informed the development of the measure. In order to examine the measures reliability and validity, a sample of 446 individuals completed the final version of the CCSS, along with existing measures of CC; physical, sexual, and psychological IPV; depression symptoms; posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms; trauma appraisals; relationship satisfaction; perceived social support; and socially desirable responding. Confirmatory factor analyses and correlational analyses were conducted to examine the construct, concurrent, convergent, and discriminant validity of the measure, and results supported the validity of the CCSS. Internal consistency of the tool was also examined and found to be excellent. If the new tool is widely accepted and used by researchers, the field will be a step closer to a standard approach for measuring and conceptualizing CC. Outside of research, the tool could potentially be used in the future to help healthcare professionals (e.g., psychologists) and professionals in the criminal justice field (e.g., police officers) better understand the context surrounding abusive relationships, which should result to better informed intervention and resources.

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