TREAD: A promising change-target for partner abuse prevention with adolescents

Kylie A. Murphy, David I. Smith, Sophia Xenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


There is consensus in the partner abuse prevention education literature that a skills-focus is needed. However, appropriate instruments for evaluating the effectiveness of skills-focused programs do not exist. Against this background, and based on the dyadic slippery slope model of partner abuse, the Tendency to Resist or End Abusive Dynamics (TREAD) scale was developed. TREAD is defined as one's tendency to respond assertively or protectively in situations involving warning-sign (potentially hurtful or controlling) behaviors by a partner. The scale's development drew on the input of three Australian samples: mixed-gender adolescent focus groups, 426 young female respondents to an online survey, and 152 adolescent girls participating in a school-based program trial. When tested with the 152 adolescent girls, the TREAD scale had acceptable internal consistency and high inter-rater reliability. Principal components analysis identified three interrelated TREAD subscales (i. e., Conflict-Retaliation TREAD, Denigration TREAD, and Dominance-Possessiveness TREAD) all of which were negatively associated with frequency of exposure to warning-sign behaviors. This paper charts the preliminary development of the TREAD scale, presenting evidence supporting its validity as a change-target for partner abuse prevention education with adolescent girls and, potentially, boys.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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