Measures

Child Traumatic Stress Symptoms
Graham-Bermann, S.A., & Levendosky , A. A.
Published in (1998).
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 13 (1), 111-128.

A measure of child post-traumatic stress symptoms was created based on DSM-IV criteria. This measure asks the mother to report on whether her child has been exposed to a potentially traumatic event, whether the child has been extremely upset by the experience and whether a number of symptoms of problems have persisted for more than three months following the traumatic event. The post-traumatic stress symptoms of 64 children ages 7 to 12 were assessed by their mothers, who had experienced emotional and physical abuse during the past year, are reported below. The first criterion of post-traumatic stress is whether the child has been exposed to, and intensely upset by a negative experience – here, the physical violence event(s) toward the mother. Each of the mothers felt that her child was extremely upset by the mild or severe violence between the mother and her partner that had occurred in the home during the prior year. Of the 64 children in the sample, 70% were eye-witnesses to the domestic violence events; the rest had overheard the violence when it had happened. Thirteen percent of the children exposed to the violence qualified for a complete PTSD diagnosis. However, 52% suffered from intrusive and unwanted remembering of the traumatic event(s), 19% displayed traumatic avoidance, and 42% experienced traumatic arousal symptoms. Children with PTSD symptoms had significantly more Internalizing behavioral problems, as expected; they also had more Externalizing problems than did children without trauma symptoms.

Family Stereotypes Card Sort
Graham-Bermann, S.A.
Graham-Bermann, S. A. & Brescoll, V. (2000). Gender, power, and violence: Assessing the family stereotypes of the children of batterers. Journal of Family Psychology, 14 (4), 600-612.

Background:
The Family Stereotypes Card Sort (FSCS) was developed and refined using descriptions of the family derived from the family stories and discussions about families with more than 300 school-age children who participated in a community-based clinical intervention program for children of battered women from 1992 to 1996. Many children held beliefs about the family that included the acceptability of violence, of the abuse of power by the father, and of secrecy and the seclusion of the family. The FSCS was created to assess such stereotyped beliefs about the family that the child may adhere to and also the extent to which the child believes the stereotypes to be true. The measure consists of 36 cards. Each card contains a statement about stereotyped family roles, culled from the stories and descriptions of families originally generated by children of battered women.

Four general areas are measured: Male Power, Female Power, Violence Privilege and Family Autonomy. Male Power consists of items that emphasize the father’s inherent importance and superiority in the family (e.g., “the man is the king of the castle, he is in charge of the whole family”). Conversely, items that emphasize the mother’s privilege in the family represent the second factor, Female Power (e.g., “the woman makes most of the major decisions in the family”). The third factor, called Violence Privilege, covers items showing approval of the use of physical violence in the family (e.g., “fathers have a right to hit their kids whenever they want to”). The fourth factor, Family Autonomy, consists of items that emphasize the belief that families are private, isolated units (e.g “Families have a lot of secrets; The school can’t tell mothers what to do”).

Administration and Scoring:
Following assent to participate by the child and parental permission, the interviewer introduces the card sort by explaining that these cards represent ideas that some people may have about the family. The child is asked to tell how much he or she agrees that the statement is true, on a four point scale. The four possible answers are presented and a practice item, such as “Children like ice cream” is given to ensure that the child understands the task and all of the response options. Each point on the answer scale of one to four is shown by a separate card with a picture of a glass beaker either totally empty, almost empty, almost full, or totally full. This visual aid was created to facilitate younger children’s understanding of the four possible response categories. Once the child understands the task, the child is then asked to sort the 36 cards into the four choices by placing each card in front of one of the four pictures to indicate how much he or she disagrees a lot (1), disagrees a little (2), agrees a little (3), and agrees a lot (4) with the statement. A score for each of the four factors or scales is created by summing the items and dividing by the number of items in that factor.

Attitudes About Family Violence (AAFV)
Graham-Bermann, S.A.
Properties:
Children’s attitudes and beliefs about the acceptability of family violence are measured with the Attitudes About Family Violence (AAFV) scale (Graham-Bermann, 1994). Results were published in:

Graham-Bermann, S. A., Lynch, S., Banyard, V., Devoe, E., & Halabu, H. (2007). Community based intervention for children exposed to intimate partner violence: An efficacy trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(2), 199-209.

Description:
The child (ages 6-13) is asked to rate ten statements using a 5-point Likert-type scale on how much each statement reflects the child’s beliefs and is true. Scale anchors are “Do Not Agree, Disagree a Little, In the Middle, Agree Somewhat, and Strongly Agree”. After reverse scoring positive items, the summary score indicates more negative attitudes and beliefs (α=.75, N=221). Sample items that reflect the attitude that violence is acceptable include the belief that “people get hit because they deserve it”, and that “fighting is the only way to solve a problem”. Items that reflect beliefs that violence is wrong include children are to blame for the violence, “most kids are upset when parents fight”, and children feel powerless to stop the violence.

Instructions:
“Here are some things that kids may think about fighting in the family. Tell me how much YOU agree with each one of these statements. There are no wrong answers. If you do not agree or think that the statement is NOT true then you circle DO NOT AGREE below. If you disagree a little with the statement then circle DISAGREE A LITTLE. If you are unsure whether you agree or do not agree with the statement then circle IN THE MIDDLE. If you
agree some of the time then circle AGREE SOMEWHAT. If you very much agree with the statement and think it is very true then circle STRONGLY AGREE.”

1. In most families there is a lot of fighting.

2. It’s never the kids’ fault when the parents fight.

3. When people get hit they always deserve it.

4. Kids can’t do anything when parents (adults) fight.

5. Most kids are upset when parents (adults) fight.

6. People get hit because they deserve to get hit.

7. Most kids feel angry or sad when parents (adults) fight.

8. Fighting is the only way to solve problems.

9. It’s always the kid’s fault when the parents fight.

10. Most families DON’T have a lot of fighting.

The Family Worries Scale (FWS)
Graham-Bermann, S.A.
References:
Graham-Bermann, S. A. (1996). Family Worries: The assessment of interpersonal anxiety in children from violent and nonviolent families. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 25(3), 280-287.

Variables Measured: The FWS was designed to assess the self-report of interpersonal anxiety or worries and concerns that children ages 6 to 12 have about different people in their family.

Type of Instrument: Questionnaire

Sample Measured: In the validation study, the FWS was used to compare the interpersonal anxiety of 7 to 12 year old children in low income families with others in similar, low SES groups, but where domestic violence was a concern. Approximately 60% of children in the validation study were from ethnic minority families, with the majority of these being African-American or bi-racial children. It has since been used in a number of intervention studies with children ages 6 to 13 years old.

Description of the Measure: The FWS is a 20 item rating scale questionnaire designed to evaluate interpersonal anxiety or worries a child may have regarding family members. Worries are divided into those related to the named person being harmed, or to the named person harming others. Twelve items combine to form the Vulnerability subscale, six items describe a person being a Harmful, or a threat to others, and two items did not load adequately or exclusively on one dimension. Vulnerability items include those related to the named person’s becoming hurt, hungry, sick, afraid, or in need of help. Worries that the person would hurt someone else, lie to the child, get arrested, scare the child, and get into a fight make up the factor labeled Harmful. Thus, this measure describes two aspects of worry for up to five individuals in the family. In doing so, the FWS allows the researcher or interviewer to identify specific areas of worry related to specific people in the child’s life. This approach is considered to be an improvement over individual measures of anxiety that describe the child as “anxious” rather the child as “anxious about or in the context of” the actions of specific people in the child’s life.

Administering the Measure: The scale begins with a statement and a question: “Some kids think about things that could happen or go wrong. How much would you say that you have thought about or worried about the following in your family?”. The lead-in “I think that…” precedes the list of items. Items are read to the child by the interviewer. For each item, respondents indicate whether this is a worry not at all, a little, somewhat, or a lot. These responses are scored one through four, respectively. A visual image of a four point scale is shown to the child and consists of four beakers that represent the four response choices. Thus, the first beaker is empty and labeled “not at all”. The second beaker is colored in about one third of the way and labeled “a little”. The third beaker is colored two thirds full and labeled “somewhat”. The last beaker is completely colored in and labeled “A lot”.

Scoring: One Vulnerability score and one Harmful score is created for each person listed in the child’s family. Thus there is a Mom Vulnerable, Dad Vulnerable, Mom Harmful, Dad Harmful, etc. score. The vulnerable score is created for each person by summing the following 12 items and then dividing by 12: Items 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17. The Harmful score is created for each person by summing the following 6 items and dividing by 6: Items 4, 6, 7, 18, 19, and 20. Scores for can computed for these subscales and/or for the overall 20 items by adding all items and dividing by 20.

Statistical Properties: Varimax factor analyses of the 20 items for each of five individuals in the family showed two stable factors. The reliability of Vulnerability factors ranged from Alpha of .77 to .88 across the five family members. Reliability (Alpha) of the Harmful factors ranged from .81 to .87 for the five family members. One week test-retest reliability for 15 children, ages 7 tyo 12, ranged from .62 to ,84 for the Harmful factors and .59 to .74 for the Vulnerability factors. Construct validity was evaluated through correlations with Achenbach & Edlebrock’s (1991) Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). The CBCL measure of anxiety/depression correlated with worry about harm by the father (.31), brother (.33), and sister (.31). No other significant correlations were found. The measure differentiated known groups of children in families with violence from those in similarly low income but nonviolent families (see reference below for additional statistical description and results).

The Family Worries Scale (FWS)
Sandra A. Graham-Bermann (1993).

Following the child’s willingness to participate [assent] and after obtaining the parent or guardian’s permission [consent], ask the child to: “Please list all of the people who live in your family”. Note that this may not be the same as those who live in the child’s house (e.g., fathers). Check the appropriate people. You can prompt the child if you know that certain people do live in the child’s family. Then ask the child to respond to each question in relation to the different people in the family, including the child him or herself.

Mother ________ Sister 2 ________
Dad or father figure ________ Brother 2 ________
Sister 1 ________ Other ________
Brother 1 ________ Myself ________

The interviewer states: “Some kids think about things that could happen or go wrong. How much would you say that you have thought about or worried about the following things about the people in your family?” If you never worry about that, you point here [show scale (see slide)] at “Not at All”. If you worry just a bit, then you point here, to “A Little”. If you sometimes worry then you point here to “Somewhat”. If you worry most of the time about that person then you point to “A Lot”. Are you ready to begin? You can stop at any time.

How much do you worry that ___(insert family member name here)____:
1. Will get sick?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

2. Will be worried a lot?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

3. Will lose a job?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

4. Will do something that scares me?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

5. Will get hurt?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

6. Will get arrested?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

7. Will be fighting?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

8. Will need help?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

9. Won’t have enough money?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

10. Won’t have a place to live?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

11. Will be mad or angry?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

12. Won’t have enough to eat?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

13. Will feel sad?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

14. Will move away?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

15. Will feel afraid?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

16. Won’t keep bad things from happening?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

17. Will die?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

18. Will hurt somebody?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

19. Won’t listen?
1=not at all 2=a little 3=somewhat 4=a lot
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____

20. Will tell a lie?
Mother _____ _____ _____ _____
Dad or father figure _____ _____ _____ _____
I, me _____ _____ _____ _____
Brother _____ _____ _____ _____
Sister _____ _____ _____ _____