Identification of child maltreatment with the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales: development and psychometric data for a national sample of American parents

Child Abuse Negl. 1998 Apr;22(4):249-70. doi: 10.1016/s0145-2134(97)00174-9.


Objective: To create a parent-to-child version of the Conflict Tactics Scales, the CTSPC.

Method: Description of the conceptual and methodological approaches used and psychometric data for a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. children.

Results: (1) Improved Psychological Aggression and Physical Assault scales. (2) New Nonviolent Discipline scale, supplementary scale for Neglect, and supplemental questions on discipline methods and sexual abuse. (3) Reliability ranges from low to moderate. (4) Evidence of discriminant and construct validity.

Conclusions: The CTSPC is better suited to measuring child maltreatment than the original CTS. It is brief (6 to 8 minutes for the core scales) and therefore practical for epidemiological research on child maltreatment and for clinical screening. Methodological issues inherent in parent self-report measures of child maltreatment are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United States