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abuse intolerance, construct validity, Korean women



  1. Choi, Myunghan
  2. Phillips, Linda R.
  3. Figueredo, Aurelio Jose
  4. Insel, Katheleen
  5. Min, Sung-Kil


Background: Domestic violence against married women has persisted throughout Korean history. However, very little empirical research has been conducted in Korea about domestic violence, its causes, or women's responses.


Objective: To develop and test psychometrically the Korean Women's Abuse Intolerance Scale (KWAIS) to measure women's propensity or desire to leave abusive husbands in Korea.


Methods: The first phase of the investigation involved qualitative research to explore the themes of women's responses to domestic violence and the development of the instrument. The second phase was a preliminary study conducted to examine women's responses to domestic violence. In the third phase, construct validity of the scale was established, using a sample of 184 married women living in Korea.


Results: The KWAIS adequately supported the underlying theory of women's responses to domestic violence, demonstrating strong content validity, high internal consistency (Cronbach's [alpha] of .98), and criterion-related validity evidenced by significant correlations that supported hypotheses among abuse intolerance and abuse (r = .69), traditional family ideology (r = -.78), marital satisfaction (r = -.85), attitude toward power ascription (r = .63), and collectivism (r = -.88). Factor analysis yielded a four-factor structure, explaining 78.4% of the common variance. Factor loadings ranged from .65 to .93.


Discussion: The findings for the psychometric properties of the KWAIS established its potential as a research instrument in measuring Korean women's propensity or desire to leave abusive husbands. Future studies need to focus on determining the predictive validity of the KWAIS and evaluating cross-cultural differences in women's propensity or desire to leave abusive husbands.