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Preliminary Report on the Accountability Scale: A Change and Outcome Measure for Intimate Partner Violence Research

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The current study investigated the reliability of a new self-report questionnaire assessing accountability for the perpetration of intimate partner violence. The Accountability Scale (AS) is a brief, Likert-type measure designed to assess the degree to which perpetrators acknowledge and accept responsibility for their violent actions. In Study #1, an exploratory factor analysis on a clinical sample revealed two factors: Acknowledging Harm and Internalizing Responsibility. In Study #2, the factor structure was replicated on a community sample using confirmatory factor analysis, revealing an 11-item solution. Factor 1 was related to readiness to change but negatively related to social desirability, suggesting convergent and discriminant validity of that subscale. Factor 2 was negatively related to Factor 1 in the community sample, calling into question the construct of accountability. Preliminary evidence suggests that the AS shows promise as a brief and reliable tool to assess forms of accountability. Future research will examine if the two factors of accountability function as mechanisms of change and outcome measures in intimate partner violence intervention research.
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Keywords: ACCOUNTABILITY; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INTERVENTION; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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