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Reliability, validity, and factor structure of the psychological abuse and neglect scales of the Computer Assisted Maltreatment Inventory (CAMI)

Cindy L Nash, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The National Research Council (1993), called for the development of clear definitions of neglect and psychological abuse to increase our knowledge base. In order to accomplish this task, psychometrically reliable and valid measures, based on sound theoretical and conceptual frameworks, must be utilized. Towards that end, the Computer Assisted Maltreatment Inventory (CAMI) was developed. The CAMI is a retrospective self-report measure that assesses adults for multiple forms of child abuse (i.e., sexual, physical, psychological, neglect, witnessing domestic violence). The primary objective of the current study was to examine the psychometric properties of the CAMI Psychological Abuse and Neglect subscales. ^ Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) identified five subcategories that may help to operationalize and define the term psychological abuse. The CAMI Psychological Abuse scale was administered to two different samples and the resulting factor structures were nearly equivalent across the two samples. Represented in the factor structures were items that depict Emotional Responsiveness, Terrorizing/Spurning, Isolating, Demanding/Rigid, and Corrupting parental behaviors. Alpha coefficients were within acceptable limits and results suggested that the factors were internally sound. ^ The results of EFA using the data generated from the CAMI Neglect scale were less clear cut. Several subcategories of neglect were identified in the two samples including Safety Concerns, Basic Needs Neglect, Cleanliness, Medical/Educational Neglect, and Supervisory Neglect. However, results suggested that many of the factors were not internally sound and were difficult to interpret. ^ Operationalizing and defining the subcategories of psychological abuse and neglect will help to disentangling the relationship between these two forms of child abuse and other forms of child maltreatment. Along those lines, clear definitions of all forms of child maltreatment will aid in the development of effective interventions and treatment approaches. Knowing the problematic behavior will help to pinpoint specific targets for change. This also makes clear the value of developing psychometrically sound instruments such as the CAMI so that comprehensive assessments can be accomplished. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Nash, Cindy L, "Reliability, validity, and factor structure of the psychological abuse and neglect scales of the Computer Assisted Maltreatment Inventory (CAMI)" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3186872.