Profile of Psychological Abuse of Women


Author of Tool: 

Sackett, L. and Saunders, D.

Key references: 

Sackett, L. A. & Saunders, D. G. (1999). The impact of different forms of psychological abuse on battered women. Violence and Victims, 14, 105-117.

Primary use / Purpose: 

For research into the impact of psychological abuse on battered women,


The Profile of Psychological Abuse of Women measure was developed for the study based on earlier work (Sackett, 1992). It initially contained 42 items drawn from clinical work, descriptions of the tactics of men who batter (Pence & Paymar, 1993), and the experiences of battered women as categorized by NiCarthy (1982). The items covered a wide variety of psychological abuse: humiliation, threats, invalidation of experiences, isolation, trivial demands, occasional indulgences, and emotional distance. Seven items were removed because of ambiguous wording. The remaining 35 items were entered into a principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation.  The factor analysis of the Profile of Psychological Abuse revealed four major forms of abuse: Criticize Behavior, Ignore, Ridicule Traits, and Jealous/Control.

An important feature of the Profile of Psychological Abuse is its ability to distinguish between criticism of behaviors and ridiculing of traits. It also has the advantage of using specific time referents (e.g., “once a month,” “once a week,” “2-3 times a week,” etc.).


See Sackett and Saunders (1999).



PDF iconprofile_of_psychological_abuse-sackett-saunders.pdf

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):


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