Attitudes About Marriage Index

Attitudes About Marriage Index is a 25-item measure of the justifiability of aggression toward one's wife in specific circumstances.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Male

Age Range: Adults


How justifiable is this...a husband slaps or hits his wife if...

1. She comes at him with a knife.
2. She physically abuses their child.
3. In an argument, she hits him first.
4. He catches her in bed with another man.
5. He learns that she is having an affair.
6. She terrorizes and abuses his pet.
7. She uncontrollably smashes his personal belongings.
8. She screams hysterically.
9. At a party she flirts with another man in front of him and his friends.
10. She threatens verbally to get her gun.
11. She is drunk, belligerent, and acting crazy.
12. She calls him "stupid" over and over again.
13. She calls his mother nasty names all the time.
14. He is drunk and out of control.
15. She accuses him of being an incompetent and insensitive human being.
16. She makes him look like a fool in front of his family and friends.
17. He overhears her talking on the phone with her ex-boyfriend.
18. She refuses to let him enroll in college courses.
19. He is upset about losing his job.
20. She insults his best friend.
21. She refuses to have sex with him.
22. She refuses to let him go out for an evening with his friends.
23. He is angry because he got a speeding ticket.
24. She tells him she should have divorced him a long time ago.
25. She threatens to move out in the middle of an argument.

Response Options:
7-point Liker scale
Not justifiable - 1
Somewhat justifiable - 4

Scoring Procedures

Item scores are summed to create the total measure score.

Original Citation

O’Hearn, H. G., & Margolin, G. (2000). Men’s attitudes condoning marital aggression: A moderator between family of origin abuse and aggression against female partners. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24(2), 159-174.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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