Domestic Violence Homicide: Validating a Scale to Measure Implicit Collusion with Murder

Lori Ann Post, Amber N W Raile, April M. Zeoli, Rae Taylor, Patricia K. Smith, James D. Dziura, Brian J. Biroscak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Despite infusions of federal funding and legislation, intimate partner violence (IPV) persists regardless of preventive efforts. Improved rates of IPV awareness and attitudes have not translated into less violence. Novel research and interventions are necessary to address this gap. This pilot study develops and validates a tool to measure implicit collusion with IPV at the macro societal level in an ecological framework. Using test-item construction techniques, the authors developed a preliminary measure of media consumers’ implicit collusion with fatal IPV perpetration reported in newspapers. The present experiment investigates whether the provision of various information influences collusion. The implicit collusion measurement tool was constructed using item analysis principles and techniques. A purposive sample was created using four sites in three states, and included a range of demographic characteristics including income, race, gender, and education. Analysis of covariance procedures and standard scaling techniques including Cronbach’s Alpha were used. Test-item construction demonstrated implicit collusion could be reliably measured in testing the effects of IPV news media “frames,” “labeling,” “extraneous information,” and “negative information.” When negative information was included about victims of fatal IPV (F(2,67) = 17.8, p < 0.001), research participants were significantly more likely to implicitly collude with the murderer. Implicit collusion with fatal IPV perpetration represents a potentially important construct heretofore not examined in the literature that can positively or negatively impact the public’s health. Provision of seemingly benign details of fatal IPV incidents in news accounts has a negative impact on media consumers by inducing implicit collusion with homicide.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Sciences Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2015


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