Severity of partner and child maltreatment: Reliability of scales used in America's largest child and family protection agency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper describes two studies investigating the interrater agreement of severity scales for family maltreatment used in America's largest child and family maltreatment agency: the U.S. military's Family Advocacy Program (FAP). The USAF-FAP Severity Index is a multidimensional rating system for clinicians' evaluations of the severity of seven forms of family maltreatment: partner physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; child physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; and child neglect. The first study evaluated the reliability of the scale as it is used in the field. The second study compared a generalizable sample of clinicians' ratings to an established "gold standard" of what the ratings should have been. The Severity Index demonstrated fair-to-good levels of reliability, suggesting that with minimal cost, investigating caseworkers can routinely assess, and make fairly reliable ratings of, the severity of seven forms of family maltreatment for each case they investigate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-106
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • Child maltreatment
  • Child neglect
  • Family violence
  • Partner abuse
  • Reliability
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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