Development and validation of the Moral Outcomes of Relationship Aggression Scale: A measure of moral distress following intimate partner violence perpetration

Emily Taverna, Amy D. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research with military veterans has established that distress may arise in response to perpetrating violent behaviors that violate individuals' moral beliefs. To date, no studies have similarly examined morally-related cognitive and emotional responses specifically among intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrators. However, research on moral cognitions and emotions in response to IPV perpetration may inform understanding of the behavior and potential mechanisms for intervention. In the current series of four studies, we used classical test theory to develop a measure of moral distress following IPV perpetration that focuses on thoughts about the actions (assimilated cognitions), thoughts about the self due to one's actions (accommodated cognitions), and emotions experienced due to one's actions (moral emotions). Items were developed and tested among two samples of undergraduate students, and psychometric properties of the final measure were confirmed among two community samples. The final measure consists of three subscales consisting of five items each. Results demonstrate support for internal consistency and test–retest reliability, convergent, discriminant, and incremental validity, and factor structure. This measure can be used in future research designed to examine how individuals respond to their IPV perpetration, and to study the implications this may have for long-term outcomes and behavioral change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-48
Number of pages16
JournalAggressive Behavior
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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