Dominance Scale

The Dominance Scale is a 32-item scale that aims to understand dominance between partners. It uses three forms of dominance including authority, restrictions, and disparagement.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


1. Sometimes I have to remind my partner of who’s boss.
2. My partner and I generally have equal say about decisions. *
3. My partner needs to remember that I am in charge.
4. If my partner and I can’t agree, I should have the final say.
5. I dominate my partner.
6. Things are easier in my relationship if I am in charge.
7. Both partners in a relationship should have equal say about decisions.*
8. I often tell my partner how to do something.
9. I hate losing arguments with my partner.
10. If my partner and I can’t agree, I usually have the final say.
11. It would bother me if my partner made more money than I did.
12. When my partner and I watch TV, I hold the remote control.

13. I have a right to know everything my partner does.
14. I insist on knowing where my partner is at all times.
15. I have a right to be involved with anything my partner does.
16. I try to keep my partner from spending time with opposite sex friends.
17. It would make me mad if my partner did something I had said not to do.
18. I tend to be jealous.
19. My partner should not keep any secrets from me.
20. I understand there are many things my partner may not want to talk about with me. *
21. It bothers me when my partner makes plans without talking to me first.

22. My partner is basically a good person.*
23. People usually like my partner.*
24. My partner doesn’t have enough sense to make important decisions.
25. My partner is a talented person.*
26. My partner often has good ideas.*
27. My partner doesn’t know how to act in public.
28. My partner can handle most things that happen. *
29. I sometimes think my partner is unattractive.
30. My partner makes a lot of mistakes.
31. It’s hard for my partner to learn new things.
32. I generally consider my partners interest as much as mine.*

* Items are reversed scored

Response Options:
Strongly disagree - 1
Disagree - 2
Agree - 3
Strongly agree - 4

Scoring Procedures

The mean of each subscale is calculated. Higher scores reflect more dominant behavior.

Original Citation

Hamby, S. L. (1996). The Dominance Scale: Preliminary psychometric properties. Violence and Victims, 11(3), 199-212.

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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