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Screening for Intimate Partner Violence in Family Mediation: An Examination of Multiple Methodological Approaches Using Item Response Theory.

Rossi FS, Applegate AG, Beck CJ, Timko C, Holtzworth-Munroe A. Screening for Intimate Partner Violence in Family Mediation: An Examination of Multiple Methodological Approaches Using Item Response Theory. Assessment. 2021 Jun 19; 10731911211022843.

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Abstract:

Many divorcing/separating parties seeking mediation to resolve family-related issues report intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization from the other party in the case. It is imperative that mediation staff screen parties for IPV so they can make informed decisions regarding how to proceed with mediation. Existing IPV screens for mediation have significant limitations. We examined three methodological approaches using item response theory that address these limitations by increasing the efficiency and clinical utility of an existing standardized IPV screen for mediation, the Mediator's Assessment of Safety Issues and Concerns ( = 904 mediating parties). We identified three subsets of items, with initial evidence for their validity, focused on helping mediation staff identify high levels of IPV or parties at risk for potentially negative mediation outcomes or needing specialized safety accommodations in mediation. Clinical recommendations are provided indicating which approach is most promising to be used in mediation settings. Overall, findings help advance understanding of how item response theory methodology can enhance the precision of IPV screening in mediation.





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