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.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


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

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.

Original Citation

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.

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


Join the EMERGE Community

to get the latest updates on new measures and guidance for survey researchers