Acceptance of Couple Violence scale

The Acceptance of Couple Violence Scale (ACVS) is a self-report measure designed to assess an individuals acceptance of violence in intimate relationships. It was developed by researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2003. The scale consists of 22 items, each of which is rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The items measure attitudes and beliefs about the acceptability of physical aggression in relationships, such asIt is okay for a couple to have a physical fight if it is not too serious andIt is acceptable for a couple to hit each other in order to resolve a disagreement. The ACVS has been found to have good psychometric properties, with high internal consistency and good test-retest reliability. It has been used in a variety of research studies to assess acceptance of intimate partner violence in different populations. The scale has also been used to measure changes in attitudes over time, as well as to predict engagement in violent behavior. The ACVS is a useful tool for researchers and clinicians interested in understanding and addressing intimate partner violence.
Acceptance of Couple Violence
1. A boy angry enough to hit his girlfriend must love her very much.
2. Violence between dating partners can improve the relationship.
3. Girls sometimes deserve to be hit by the boys they date.
4. A girl who makes her boyfriend jealous on purpose deserves to be hit.
5. Boys sometimes deserve to be hit by the girls they date.
6. A girl angry enough to hit her boyfriend must love him very much.
7. There are times when violence between dating partners is okay.
8. A boy who makes his girlfriend jealous on purpose deserves to be hit.
9. Sometimes violence is the only way to express your feelings.
10. Some couples must use violence to solve their problems.
11. Violence between dating partners is a personal matter and people should not interfere.
This assessment measures acceptance of couple violence. It has three subscales: male on female violence‚ female on male violence‚ and acceptance of general dating violence. Respondents are asked to circle the answer that corresponds with their beliefs.
This tool touches on the following keywords:
·         attitudes
This instrument can be found on page 38 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at:
None noted.
Students in grades 8-9
Point values are as indicated. Three subscales can be scored: the Acceptance of Male on Female Violence subscale is based on items 1‚ 3 and 4; the Acceptance of Female on Male Violence subscale is based on items 5‚6 and 8; and the Acceptance of General Dating Violence subscale is based on items 2‚ 7‚ 9‚ 10 and 11.
Within each subscale the score is calculated by summing the point values of the responses from a participant. Alternatively‚ the score can be derived by summing the point values and dividing by the number of responses. A high score indicates a high level of acceptance of couple violence; a low score indicates a low level of acceptance.
Strongly disagree=1
Strongly agree=4
Original Reference(s):

Foshee‚ V. A.‚ Linder‚ G.‚ F.‚ Bauman‚ K. E.‚ Langwick‚ S. A.‚ Arriaga‚ X. B.‚ Heath‚ J. L.‚ McMahon‚ P. M.‚ & Bangdiwala‚ S. (1996). The Safe Dates Project: Theoretical basis‚ evaluation design‚ and se‎lected baseline findings. American Journal of Preventive Medicine‚ 12 (5‚ Supplement)‚ 39-47.

Other Reference(s):    Foshee‚ V. A.‚ Bauman‚ K. E.‚ Zrriaga‚ X.‚ Helms‚ R. W.‚ Koch‚ G. G.‚ & Linder‚ G. F. (1998). An evaluation of Safe Dates‚ an adolescent dating violence prevention program. American Journal of Public Health‚ 88 (1)‚ 45-50.

Other: The scale is published in Dahlberg‚ L.‚ Toal‚ S. B.‚ & Behrens‚ C. B. (1998). Measuring violence-related attitudes‚ beliefs‚ and behaviors among youths: A compendium of assessment tools. Atlanta‚ GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‚ National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.