The Effect of Item Order on Psychological Aggression Reporting: An Examination With the Multidimensional Measure of Emotional Abuse
Psychological aggression between intimate partners has been found to occur at high rates in college populations, but the reliability and validity of the self-report measures used to gather this information have been criticized. Some studies indicate item order may affect self-reports of victimization and perpetration of violent behaviors. In this study, we administered standardized and randomized formats of the Multidimensional Measure of Emotional Abuse (MMEA; Murphy & Hoover, 1999) to study the impact question order had on self-reports of psychological aggression victimization and perpetration. Results demonstrated that women reported more frequent perpetration and victimization than men on some MMEA subscales. Furthermore, those who took the standardized format of the MMEA reported more frequent perpetration and victimization on some MMEA subscales than those who took the randomized format. However, no significant interaction effects were found between gender and format. Overall, these mixed results warrant further research on item order effects with self-report measures of intimate partner violence.