Evidence of the Construct Validity of the Scale of Economic Abuse

Violence Vict. 2015;30(3):363-76. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.vv-d-13-00133.


This study investigated the construct validity of the Scale of Economic Abuse (SEA). Evidence of construct validity was assessed by examining the relationship between the SEA and an economic outcome, financial resources, as perceived by participants. A sample of 93 women with abusive partners were recruited from a domestic violence organization and interviewed 3 times over a period of 4 months. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine the relationship between economic abuse and financial resources over time, controlling for the effects of physical and psychological abuse. The findings indicate that baseline economic abuse was significantly related to baseline financial resources, and within-woman change in economic abuse was significantly predicted change in financial resources over time. The findings suggest that the SEA measures what it is intended to measure: an economic dimension of intimate partner abuse that has damaging economic consequences.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / economics*
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Women's Health / economics*