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Identifying Male Victims of Partner Abuse: A Review and Critique of Screening Instruments

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Accurate identification of partner abuse (PA) victims and perpetrators is essential to secondary prevention of such violence. Important progress has been made regarding identification of female victims of PA but significantly less scholarly attention has been given to screening instruments that capture men's PA experiences. The purpose of this article is to briefly review the history of PA screening methods/instruments used and to provide an organized critique of screening tools used with men today. A gender-inclusive approach was used to critique 8 PA screening tools along the following themes: theoretical/paradigmatic approach, language, abuse type, severity and frequency, format, and psychometric data. Strengths of the instruments included (a) use of gender-neutral language in item wording, (b) screening for multiple forms of PA, (c) assessment of frequency of violent acts, and (d) collection of psychometric data with men. Recommendations for future practice include a list of questions for clinicians to use when selecting a screening tool. These questions will assist clinicians and scholars to consider the strengths and limitations of each tool and make more informed choices about the instruments they are using to screen men. Future research recommendations included (a) a call to the field to use a gender-inclusive framework in developing PA screening tools, (b) for developers to clearly label and outline theories or paradigms used to develop instruments, and (c) to obtain psychometric data for diverse groups of men, across various settings (e.g., community mental health agencies, private practice, college campuses).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2015

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