A brief form of the child abuse potential inventory: Development and validation

Steven J. Ondersma, Mark J. Chaffin, Sharon M. Mullins, James M. Lebreton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


A brief version of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP) was developed using a development sample of N = 1,470, and cross-validated using an additional sample of N = 713. Items were selected to maximize (a) CAP variance accounted for; (b) prediction of future child protective services reports; (c) item invariance across gender, age, and ethnicity; (d) factor stability; and (e) readability and acceptability. On cross-validation, scores from the resulting 24-item risk scale demonstrated an internal consistency estimate of .89, a stable 7-factor structure, and substantial correlations with the CAP Abuse Risk score (r = .96). The CAP risk cutoff was predicted with 93% sensitivity and 93% specificity (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve = .98), and the Brief Child Abuse Potential Inventory (BCAP) and CAP demonstrated similar patterns of external correlates. The BCAP may be useful as a time-efficient screener for abuse risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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