Measurement of Sibling Violence: A Two-Factor Model of Severity

Khan, Roxanne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3485-2450 and Cooke, David J (2013) Measurement of Sibling Violence: A Two-Factor Model of Severity. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40 (1). pp. 26-39. ISSN 0093-8548

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The measurement of violence is a major challenge in aggression research. Because of the heterogeneous nature of violent behavior, problems arise when applying blanket measures to inherently distinct subtypes of aggression. Incidents of intersibling violence (ISV) exacerbate these problems because siblinghood represents a unique offender–victim situation. This research explored whether an existing two-factor model for severe violence found in a sample of 250 adult offenders (age M = 26.8, SD = 5.9) could be generalized to deliberate severe ISV in a sample of 111 young offenders (age M = 14.83, SD = 1.45). Exploratory factor analysis revealed a two-factor model encompassing severe ISV perpetration with weapon use (Factor 1) and severe ISV perpetration without weapon use (Factor 2). The results provide strong empirical support for the two-factor model of violence severity previously established with adult offenders. This analysis demonstrates construct validity of the severity measures among the different types of offenders studied and provides support for generalization across populations.

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