Measurement Invariance in the Assessment of Intimate Partner Abuse Among Sexual Minority and Non-Sexual Minority Individuals
Research suggests that sexual minorities (SMs) experience a higher risk of IPA than their heterosexual counterparts. The extent of this problem is likely underestimated and not fully understood due to limitations in our assessment of ways IPA uniquely manifests among SMs. Three forms of IPA that have been discussed in the literature are physical aggression, psychological aggression, and controlling behaviors. In the current study, we assessed the measure invariance of the assessment of these forms of IPA between SM and non-SMs. Participants were recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk Crowdsourcing Platform. We recruited 338 participants between the ages of 18–59 years old. Of those, 47.3% (n = 160) described their sexual orientation as straight/heterosexual, 28.1% (n = 95) bisexual, 10.1% (n = 34) gay, 4.7% (n = 16) lesbian, 3.0% (n = 10) as asexual, 3.8% (n = 13) as pansexual, 3.0% (n = 10) as queer. Similar to previous research, fits for the overall model for both SMs and non-SMs were poor. However, measurement weights, structural covariances, and measurement residuals models were all significantly different from the unconstrained model, exhibiting a meaningful difference in assessment of IPA between the two groups. Results suggest that experiences of IPA may not be adequately captured by this measure, particularly for SM individuals. Future research should examine the unique and shared experiences of SM and non-SM IPA survivors.