Gender Based Household Maltreatment Scale

The Gender Based Household Maltreatment Scale is a 13-item measure of a woman’s individual experience of maltreatment by her husband or in-laws. The measure was constructed to assess being prevented from caring for one’s own health, son preference, and unequal distribution of household labor.


Geographies Tested: India

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Asked during pregnancy and in postpartum period:

1. Did your (husbandin-laws) force you to bring money or other things from your parents’ home?
2. Did your (husbandin-laws) interfere in your ability to get health care for yourself?
3. Did your (husbandin-laws) interfere in your ability to get health care for your children?
4. Did your (husbandin-laws) stop you from getting enough food for yourself?
5. Did your (husbandin-laws) stop you from getting enough food for your children?
6. Did your (husbandin-laws) stop you from getting the rest you needed?
7. Did your (husbandin-laws) attempt to stop you from going to your natal home for the birth? (Not assessed for postpartum period).
8. Did your (husbandin-laws) treat you badly for not having a boy child?
9. Did your (husbandin-laws) stop you from taking care of your children?
10. Did your (husbandin-laws) neglectignore your baby?
11. Did anyone assist you to prepare meals for the household?
12. Did anyone assist you to perform cleaning work for the household?

Asked only of husbands for the pregnancy and postpartum periods:

13. Did you ever feel that you needed help to care for your elder children from your husband but didn’t receive it?

Response Options:
Yes - 1
No - 2

Scoring Procedures

All items are assessed twice, once for the period during the respondent’s most recent pregnancy and once for the respondent’s postpartum period (six months or less) following that infant’s birth. At least one “yes” response to any items specific to husbands/in-laws or at least one “no” response to either item related to household work indicates that the respondent has experienced perinatal partner or in-law Gender Based Household Maltreatment.

Original Citation

Silverman, J. G., Balaiah, D., Decker, M. R., Boyce, S. C., Ritter, J., Naik, D. D., ... & Raj, A. (2016). Family violence and maltreatment of women during the perinatal period: associations with infant morbidity in Indian slum communities. Maternal and child health journal, 20(1), 149-157.

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Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

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Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








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