Parental Attitudes Toward Use of Aggression scale (PATU) is a tool used to measure the attitudes of parents towards the use of physical aggression as a means of disciplining their children. The scale was developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in the early 1990s. It is a self-report measure that assesses the extent to which parents believe that physical aggression is an appropriate and effective way to discipline their children. The scale consists of 20 items, each of which is rated on a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The items are designed to measure the extent to which the parent believes that physical aggression is an appropriate way to discipline their child. For example, one item asks “It is okay for me to hit my child when he/she misbehaves.” Research has found that the PATU is a reliable and valid measure of parental attitudes towards the use of physical aggression. Studies have found that higher scores on the scale are associated with more positive attitudes towards the use of physical aggression. Furthermore, research has found that parents who score higher on the PATU are more likely to use physical aggression when disciplining their children. The PATU is an important tool for researchers and clinicians who are interested in understanding the attitudes of parents towards the use of physical aggression. It is also a useful tool for parents who are interested in understanding their own attitudes towards the use of physical aggression and how they might be influencing their parenting practices. Finally, the PATU can be used to inform interventions that are aimed at reducing the use of physical aggression in parenting.
For each item‚ decide whether you agree or disagree‚ then choose a number between 1 and 7 using the following scale.
1. I let my child watch adventure television shows that have killing and violence in them.
2. If my child were teased by other kids at school‚ I would want my child to defend himself/herself even if itmeant hitting another child.
3. When my child does something wrong‚ talking about it with him/her helps more than spanking.
4. If my child gets into a fight with another child‚ I won’t try to stop it because my child has to show thatshe/he can defend herself/himself.
5. It is important to keep a gun at home to protect the family.
6. Sometimes a physical fight might help my child have a better relationship with other children.
7. It would bother me if my child saw one adult hit another in real life.
8. If I found out my child hit another child‚ I would be very disappointed‚ no matter what the reason.
9. I wouldn’t mind if my child got a reputation as the “toughest” kid in school.
10. I believe that television violence has a bad effect on children.
This instrument can be found on pages 304-305 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/YV_Compendium.pdf
Point values are assigned as follows:
■ 1 ■ 2 ■ 3 ■ 4 ■ 5 ■ 6 ■ 7
Point values are assigned as indicated above. Items 3‚ 7‚ 8 and 10 are reverse coded. Point values are summed and then divided by the number of items for each respondent. Higher scores indicate a greater acceptance ofusing aggression for problem solving.