Kansas Marital Conflict Scale (KMCS)

The Kansas Marital Conflict Scale (KMCS) is a tool used to measure marital conflict and communication. It is a self-report measure of marital conflict and communication developed by researchers at the University of Kansas. The scale consists of 18 items that assess both the frequency and intensity of marital conflict. The items are divided into three subscales: verbal hostility, physical aggression, and avoidance. The verbal hostility subscale includes items that assess the frequency of verbal aggression and hostility in the relationship. Examples of items include "How often do you use put-downs or insults when arguing?" and "How often do you yell at each other?". The physical aggression subscale includes items that assess the frequency of physical aggression in the relationship. Examples of items include "How often do you grab or push each other?" and "How often do you throw things?". The avoidance subscale includes items that assess the frequency of avoidance behaviors in the relationship. Examples of items include "How often do you withdraw or ignore each other?" and "How often do you avoid talking about difficult topics?". The KMCS has been used in a variety of research studies to assess marital conflict and communication. It has been found to be a reliable and valid measure of marital conflict and communication. The KMCS is a useful tool for researchers and clinicians interested in assessing the quality of marital relationships.


When you and your husband are beginning to discuss a disagreement over an important issue‚ how often:
1.    Do you both begin to understand each other’s feelings reasonably quickly?
2.    Do you both get your points across to each other without too much trouble?
3.    Do you both begin to appreciate each other’s points of view on the matter fairly soon?
4.    Does your husband seem to be supportive of your feelings about your disagreement?
5.    Does your husband tell you that you shouldn’t feel the way you do about the issue?
6.    Is your husband willing to really hear what you want to communicate?
7.    Does your husband insist on contradicting many of your ideas on the issue before he even understands what your ideas are?
8.    Does your husband make you feel that your views‚ even if different from his‚ are really important to him?
9.    Does your husband seem more interested in justifying his own point of view rather than in understanding yours?
10.Does your husband let you feel upset or angry without putting you down for it?
11.Does your husband blame you for any of your feelings of frustration or irritation as if they were mostly your own fault‚ none of his?
After you and your husband have been discussing a disagreement over an important issue for a while‚ how often:
1. Are you able to clearly identify the specific things about which you disagree?
2. Are you able to identify clearly the specific things about which you do agree?
3. Are you both able to express how the other feels about the issue?
4. Are you both able to express the other’s viewpoint nearly as well as you could your own viewpoint?
5. Does your husband’s facial expression and tone of voice convey a sense of:
____ discouragement
____ anger
____ disgust
____ condescension
____ bitterness
____ self-pity (for himself)
____ respect toward you
About the time you and your husband feel you are close to a solution to your disagreement over an important issue‚ how often:
1.    Are you able to completely resolve it with some sort of compromise that is OK with both of you?
2.    Do you end up with very little resolved after all?
3.    Do you quickly bring the matter to a conclusion that is satisfactory for both of you?
4.    Do you realize that the matter will have to be reargued in the near future?
5.    Do you find that just as soon as you think you have gotten things resolved‚ your husband comes up with a new idea for resolving the issue?
6.    Does your husband keep on trying to propose things that are not mutually acceptable ways of resolving the matter at hand?
7.    Does it seem that no matter what you suggest‚ your husband keeps on finding new‚ supposedly better solutions?
8.    Are you both willing to give and take in order to settle the disagreement?
9.    Are you and your husband able to give up some of what you wanted in order to bring an issue to a close?
10.Are you and your husband able to keep coming closer together on a mutually acceptable solution until you reach it?
11.Are you and your husband able to reach a mutually acceptable contract for resolving the disagreement?
 
1 = Never‚ 2 = Once in a while‚ 3 = Sometimes‚ 4 = Frequently‚ 5 = Almost always
 
This instrument can be found at: Healthy Marriages Compendium

Eggeman‚ K. W.‚ Moxley‚ V.‚ & Schumm‚ W. R. (1985).

Eggeman‚ K. W.‚ Moxley‚ V.‚ & Schumm‚ W. R. (1985). Assessing spouses’ perceptions of Gottman’s temporal form in marital conflict. Psychology Reports‚ 57(1)‚ 171-181. Retrieved from http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2466/pr0.1985.57.1.171  

Eggeman‚ K. W.‚ Moxley‚ V.‚ & Schumm‚ W. R. IN: Carrano‚ J.; Cleveland‚ K.; Bronte-Tinkew‚ J.; Moore‚ K. A. (2003). Conceptualizing and measuring "healthy marriages" for empirical research and evaluation studies: A compendium of measures - part II. Bethesda‚ MD. Child Trends.  Page(s): 33‚ pg.143.

Corcoran‚ K.‚ & Fischer‚ J. (2000). Measures for clinical practice: A sourcebook (Vol.1). New York‚ NY: The Free Press.