The CAT: A Gender-Inclusive Measure of Controlling and Abusive Tactics

Hamel, john, Jones, Daniel, Dutton, Donald and Graham-Kevan, Nicola orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0621-3093 (2015) The CAT: A Gender-Inclusive Measure of Controlling and Abusive Tactics. Violence and Victims, 30 (4). pp. 547-580. ISSN 0886-6708

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Research has consistently found that partner violence, defined as physical abuse between married, cohabitating, or dating partners, is not the only type of abuse with long-term deleterious effects on victims. Male and female victims alike report that emotional abuse, along with controlling behaviors, are often as or more traumatic. Existing instruments used to measure emotional abuse and control have either been limited to male-perpetrated behaviors, as conceived in the well-known Duluth “Power and Control” wheel, or field tested on dating or general population samples. This study discusses the genesis and
evolution of a gender-inclusive instrument, the Controlling and Abusive Tactics (CAT) Questionnaire, which was field tested on males and females with both a clinical and general population sample. For perpetration, a preliminary comparison across gender found no significant differences across gender for the great majority of items, with women reporting significantly higher rates on 9 items, and men reporting significantly higher rates on 6 items. Women reported higher rates of received abuse than men on 28 of 30 items in which gender differences were found to be significant, but both males and females reported higher victimization than perpetration rates on all items. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses resulted in the CAT-2, a valid and reliable instrument appropriate for clinical use by treatment providers as well as for research purposes.

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