Screening for Multiple Types of Family Violence: Development and Validation of the Family Polyvictimization Screen

Ko Ling Chan, Qiqi Chen, Mengtong Chen, Camilla K.M. Lo, Lu Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Different types of violence tend to co-occur within a family where the members often share common family characteristics, a situation described as family polyvictimization. In response to the lack of a validated screening tool, this study developed and validated the Family Polyvictimization Screen (FPS), the first brief screening tool applicable to members of the same family with up to three generations. Methods: The FPS was designed to screen family polyvictimization by assessing and capturing different types of violence, including child abuse and neglect (CAN), intimate partner violence (IPV), and elder abuse. The FPS was compared with the Criterion Standard scales. It is suitable for use as a self-report for individual family members for specific violence or as a proxy report for an adult family member to serve as informant. In this study, a community sample of 445 households was recruited from Hong Kong (n = 250) and Shanghai (n = 195). One adult parent from each three-generation family was selected as the informant to report all family polyvictimization experiences in the preceding year. Results: Moderate to high agreement (79.1–99.8%) was found between the FPS and the standard measurements, such as the revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2) and the Conflict Tactics Scales: Parent-Child Version (CTSPC). Exceptions appeared in regard to physical assault on elders due to the rarity of reported cases. The specificity was high, while the sensitivity estimates appeared low, especially for the more sensitive sexual abuse cases. Conclusion: The validated FPS demonstrated its potential utility as a brief tool for screening family polyvictimization in clinical settings with substantial agreement and satisfactory accuracy in the Chinese population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number282
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • child abuse and neglect
  • elder abuse
  • family polyvictimization
  • intimate partner violence
  • screen
  • validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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