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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-408
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Child maltreatment
  • Definitions
  • Partner abuse
  • Substantiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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