The Avoidance Strategy Questionnaire (ASQ)


Sometimes people in close relationships don’t want to do what their partner wants. The questions of the Avoidance Strategy Questionnaire (ASQ) pertain to how individuals avoid their partner’s requests in such situations, and what avoidance strategies they use. Avoidance strategies are the tactics and techniques people use to deal with their partners’ unwelcome persuasion attempts.


For psychometrics, see article: Belk, S. S., & Snell, W. E., Jr. (1988).  Avoidance strategies in intimate relationships.  Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 7, 80-96.

Author of Tool:

Belk, S. S., & Snell, W. E., Jr.

Key references:

Belk, S. S., & Snell, W. E., Jr. (1988).  Avoidance strategies in intimate relationships.  Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 7, 80-96.

Belk, S. S., Garcia, R., Hernandez, J. E., & Snell, W. E., Jr. (1988).  Avoidance strategy use in the intimate relationships of women and men from Mexico and the United States.  Psychology of Women Quarterly, 12, 165-174.

Primary use / Purpose:

Assess level of engagement in various avoidance strategies

Avoidance Strategy Questionnaire

CLOSE RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES: Sometimes people in close relationships don't want to do what their partner wants. The following questions pertain to how you avoid your partner's requests in such situations. Use the following scale to indicate how often you use the following types of avoidance strategies with your partner:

A ............. B ............. C ............. D                 E

Do not use............................................................................... Use very at all often


You will be indicating how often you use the following avoidance strategies in response to an unwelcome request from your partner.

  1. I refuse his/her requests with an affectionate gesture (e.g., with a kiss).
  2. I express displeasure through body language (e.g., facial disapproval).
  3. I comply but unilaterally select the method and time of compliance.
  4. I refuse the request in a forthright
  5. I tell my partner, "I don't want "
  6. I refuse and tell why I make the particular
  7. I make excuses for not
  8. I simply comply with the
  9. I discuss the request with my
  10. I discuss my feelings about the request with my
  11. I make an excuse about why I can't (not won't)
  12. I suggest other options and alternatives to the original
  13. I tell my partner to do it alone or with someone
  14. I suggest a
  15. I am persistent in not giving in to his/her
  16. I simply do not
  17. I directly and angrily refuse to
  18. I withdraw emotionally from my
  19. I ignore my partner, or try to ignore the
  20. I procrastinate until it is too late to
  21. I try to avoid the topic of the request in my partner's
  22. I change the subject, diverting attention to some other
  23. I persuade my partner to "see things my "
  24. I actually discuss my reasons for not complying with his/her

Scoring Instructions for the Avoidance Strategy Questionnaire (ASQ)


The ASQ items are scored so that: A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4, and E = 5. Two types of scale construction procedures can be used with the Avoidance Strategy Questionnaire (ASQ; Belk & Snell, 1988):

First, two scales corresponding to the bilateral-unilateral and compliance-noncompliance dimensions can be computed by first multiplying item scores by their relevant MDS coefficients and then summing across the 24 items. Higher scores on the resulting two scales correspond to the use of bilateral (versus unilateral) and compliance (versus noncompliance) avoidance strategies.

Second, four subscales corresponding to the factor analysis results reported by Belk and Snell (1988) can be computed. This is accomplished by summing the items scores for the following factors (underlined items are reverse-coded):

  • Factor I (Unilateral Avoidance): (Items 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22).
  • Factor II (Bilateral Avoidance): (Items 9, 10, 12, 14, and 24).
  • Factor III (Noncompliance Avoidance): (Items 4, 5, 6, 8, 13, 15, and 16).
  • Factor IV (Unilateral Avoidance): (Items 3, 7, and 11).