Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales (CTSPC)

The Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales (CTSPC) is a multi-item measure developed to assess parent-to-child conflict, based on the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS1). It includes items on non-violent discipline , psychological aggression, physical assault, and neglect.


Children often do things that are wrong, disobey or make their parents angry. We would like to know what you have done when your [SAY age of referent child] year old child, did something wrong or make you upset or angry.

I am going to read a list of things you might have done in the past year and I would like you to tell me whether you have: done it once in past year, done it twice in the past year, 3-5 times in the past year, 6-10 times, 11-20 times, or more than 20 times in the past year. If you haven’t done it in the past year but have done it before that, I would like to know this, too.

  1. Explained why something was wrong
  2. Put him/her in “time out” (or sent to his/her room)
  3. Shook him/her
  4. Hit him/her on the bottom with something like a belt, hairbrush, a stick or some other hard object
  5. Gave him/her something else to do instead of what he/she was doing wrong
  6. Shouted, yelled, or screamed at him/her
  7. Hit him/her with a fist or kicked him/her hard
  8. Spanked him/her on the bottom with your bare hand
  9. Grabbed him/her around the neck and chocked him/her
  10. Swore or curse at him/her
  11. Beat him/her up, that is you hit him/her over and over as hard as you could
  12. Said you would send him/her away or kick him/her out of the house
  13. Burned or scalded him/her on purpose
  14. Threatened to spank or hit him/her but did not actually do it
  15. Hit him/her on some other part of the body besides the bottom with something like a belt, hairbrush, a stick or some other hard object
  16. Slapped him/her on the hand, arm, or leg
  17. Took away privileges or grounded him/her
  18. Pinched him/her
  19. Threatened him/her with a knife or gun
  20. Threw or knocked him/her down
  21. Called him/her dumb or lazy or some other name like that
  22. Slapped him/her on the face or head or ears

Response Options:
Once in the past year - 1
Twice in the past year - 2
3-5 times in the past year - 3
6-10 times in the past year - 4
11-20 times in the past year - 5
More than 20 times in the past year - 6
Not in the past year, but it did happen before - 7
This has never happened - 0



United States of America




Scoring Procedures:

The scale is is scored by adding the midpoints for the response categories chosen by the participant. The midpoints are the same as the response category numbers for categories 0, 1, and 2. For category 3 (3–5 times) the midpoint is 4, for category 4 (6–10 times) it is 8, for category 5 (11–20 times) it is 15, and for category 6 (More than 20 times in the past year) we suggest using 25 as the midpoint.


Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Finkelhor, D., Moore, D. W., & Runyan, D. (1998). Identification of child maltreatment with the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales: Development and psychometric data for a national sample of American parents. Child abuse & neglect, 22(4), 249-270.

Pyschometric Score:


 Qualitative Research

 Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

 Field Expert Input

 Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








 Criterion (gold-standard)


Psychometric Scoring

Total Score: 4.00/8 Points (MEDIUM) 

Citation Frequency




For more details, see Scoring Methodology

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