Protocol - Family Conflict - Intimate-Relationship

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The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2) is a 78-item questionnaire that assesses both positive and negative behaviors used in response to conflict between romantic partners in the past year. It can be self-administered or administered by an interviewer as part of a personal interview.

Specific Instructions

The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2) is a proprietary instrument, and administration requires a licensing agreement from Western Psychological Services. Romantic partners are defined as any two adult individuals engaged in an intimate relationship, including both married and unmarried partners and both same-sex and opposite-sex partners.


Limited Availability


Summary of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2)

The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2) includes 78 items; one-half of the items refer to the respondent’s behavior, and the other half refers to the partner’s behavior. The protocol uses an eight-point response scale with which the respondent indicates how often each behavior has occurred. The set of responses then yields "Self" and "Partner" scores for:

  • - Negotiation
  • - Physical assault
  • - Injury
  • - Psychological aggression
  • - Sexual coercion


Positive items from the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2) include demonstrating care during disagreements, showing respect for a partner’s point of view, and compromising on disagreements. Negative items include pushing and shoving during disagreements, using hurtful names and terms, and making threats with a knife or gun. Responses capture the number of times (such as never, once, twice, etc.) specific conflict tactics occurred during the past year.

Scoring Instructions

For each item, the respondent indicates the number of times the event has occurred in the past year. The responses are summed for all questions with higher scores indicating more psychological and physical abuse.

Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2) Copyright © 2003 by Western Psychological Services. All rights reserved.

Personnel and Training Required

No specific training is needed if data are collected through a self-administered questionnaire. If interviewers administer the questionnaire, the interviewer must be trained to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population and found competent to administer these particular questions (i.e., tested by an expert) at the end of the training. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a “don’t know” response is provided.

Equipment Needs

These questions can be administered in a computerized or noncomputerized format (i.e., paper-and pencil instrument). Computer software is necessary to develop computer-assisted instruments. The interviewer will require a laptop computer or handheld computer to administer or to allow the respondent to self-administer a computer-assisted questionnaire.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Self-administered or interviewer-administered questionnaire




Adults, aged 18 years and older

Selection Rationale

The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2) was selected because it is a widely used, validated protocol with demonstrated validity and reliability. The scale’s scores are associated with relevant outcomes.


Chinese, English

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Fam conflict intimate-relat proto 63017-8 LOINC
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #2 (ERP 2) reviewed the measures in the Demographics, Environmental Exposures, and Social Environments domains.

Guidance from ERP 2 includes:

• Revised descriptions of the measure

Back-compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary

Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)

Protocol Name from Source

Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2), 2003


Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., Sugarman, D. B., Finkelhor, D., Moore, D. W., & Runyan, D. K. (2003). Conflict Tactics Scales. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS 2) are proprietary instruments and can be obtained through:

Western Psychological Services
12031 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025-1251
Telephone: 800.648.8857
E-mail: research@wpspublish.com

General References

Straus, M. (1979). Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The Conflict Tactics (CT) Scales. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 41, 75-88.

Straus, M. A. (2007). Conflict Tactics Scales. In N. A. Jackson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of domestic violence (pp. 190-197). New York: Routledge.

Straus, M., & Hamby, S. L. (1997). Measuring physical and psychological maltreatment of children with the Conflict Tactics Scales. In G. Kaufman Kantor & J. L. Jasinsky (Eds.), Out of the darkness: Contemporary research perspectives on family violence (pp. 119-135).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX210401000000 Protocol 210401 - proprietary. Check DCW for more
contact. show less
Social Environments
Measure Name

Family Conflict

Release Date

October 8, 2010


This measure is a questionnaire to assess the level of conflict in families and in intimate relationships.


This measure is used to evaluate conflict and strategies to deal with conflict within parent-child and intimate relationships.


Social environments, family, violence, Revised Conflict Tactics Scales, CTS 2, conflict, relationships, nonviolent discipline, assault, neglect, aggression, discipline, abuse, negotiation, injury, sexual coercion, proprietary

Measure Protocols
Protocol ID Protocol Name
210401 Family Conflict - Intimate-Relationship
210402 Family Conflict - Parent-Child

Zucker, R. A, et al. (2018) Assessment of culture and environment in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study: Rationale, description of measures, and early data. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2018 August; 32: 107-120. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.03.004