Reliability of Family Maltreatment Diagnostic Criteria: 41 Site Dissemination Field Trial

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R. E. Heyman and A. M. S. Slep (2006) developed and conducted an effectiveness trial of a diagnostic system for child and partner maltreatment. The current investigation tested the widespread dissemination of the diagnostic system at 41 child and partner maltreatment services sites (n = 549 partner maltreatment cases and n = 342 child maltreatment cases). Agreement between field and master reviewers' decisions was good for partner physical and emotional abuse (κ = 0.83-0.84). Agreement was also good for child physical, emotional, and sexual abuse (κ = 0.73-0.89) but lagged slightly for child neglect (κ = 0.66). Thus, multifaceted and content valid family maltreatment diagnostic criteria can be disseminated reliably. Replication studies of interrater agreement of the diagnostic system in typical clinical and agency settings are necessary; however, the high levels of agreement in myriad field sites imply that consistency of maltreatment determinations is achievable in widespread use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-910
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • child maltreatment
  • diagnostic criteria
  • dissemination
  • intimate partner violence
  • partner abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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