Validation of a Self-Report Measure of Unrealistic Relationship Expectations

Heather M. Foran, Amy M. Smith Slep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive models of intimate partner aggression implicate maladaptive relationship beliefs as antecedents to aggression and targets for intervention. However, existing self-report measures of relationship beliefs have failed to differentiate aggressive and nonaggressive individuals, raising questions about their assessment of and role in understanding aggression. To address these concerns, the authors developed and tested a new measure of unrealistic relationship beliefs in a sample of 453 community couples. Structural validity, concurrent validity, discriminant validity, internal consistency, and temporal stability of the new measure were examined. The final scale demonstrated adequate internal consistency (αs = .83-.84), test-retest reliability (rs = .68-.74), and concurrent validity (small to moderate associations with predicted variables). Unrealistic relationship beliefs significantly differentiated aggressive and nonaggressive men, and this association remained significant after the authors controlled for other related variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-396
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • assessment
  • intimate partner violence
  • psychometric properties
  • unrealistic expectations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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