Sibling violence: validating a two-factor model of severity in nonoffender populations

Khan, Roxanne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3485-2450 (2017) Sibling violence: validating a two-factor model of severity in nonoffender populations. Psychology of Violence, 7 (4). pp. 498-507. ISSN 2152-0828

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Objective: Despite a recent surge of academic and clinical interest in sibling violence (SV), valid measures of severity have not been psychometrically established using non-offender populations. This study examined the factor-structure of intentional SV severity in a non-forensic sample considered to be not at ‘high-risk’ for violence, using the only existing empirically-driven model of severe SV committed with intent (Khan & Cooke, 2013). The prior model was established in a high-risk for violence, young offender sample (N=111; mean age=14.53) and revealed two underlying factors: ‘SV with weapon use’ and ‘SV without weapon use’. Method: This study examined data from an older, mixed community and student sample (N=899; mean=22.53) to test the factor structure and reliability of the existing severity model. Results: Participants reported a wide range of violent acts against their sibling(s) with aim of injuring them, including weapon use. Using exploratory factor analyses and confirmatory factor analyses, the prior 2-factor model was empirically supported using this non-correctional population. The new model comprised Factor 1 (potentially lethal SV) and Factor 2 (non-life threatening SV). Conclusion: The generalizability of the original 2-factor model, established using an offender sample, was demonstrated in this non-offender sample designated not at ‘high risk’ for violence.

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