Buss, D. M., Shackelford, T. K., & McKibbin, W. F. (2008). The Mate Retention Inventory-Short Form (MRI-SF). Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 322-334.

 The Mate Retention Inventory-Short Form (MRI-SF)

David M. Buss a, Todd K. Shackelford b, William F. McKibbin b

  University of Texas, Austin
Florida Atlantic University

 People devote considerable effort to retaining their mates. Mate retention tactics range from vigilance to
violence, and are linked to variables such as marital satisfaction and relationship aggression. The Mate
Retention Inventory (MRI; 104 items comprising 19 tactics) has proven to be reliable and valid. Given
the importance of assessing mate retention in various contexts, there is a need for a briefer version of
the MRI. In Study 1 (N = 1032), we develop a short form of the MRI (the MRI-SF), which assesses performance
of 19 mate retention tactics using two items per tactic. The tactic scales show internal consistency,
high correlations with the MRI long-form tactic scales, and links with assessments of controlling behavior,
relationship violence, and an assessment of injury. Study 2 (N = 625) replicates the MRI-SF reliability and
high correlations with the MRI long-form tactic scales, and shows links to a sexual coercion measure. We
conclude that the MRI-SF is sufficiently reliable and valid that it can be used in basic and applied research
in place of the MRI long-form for most purposes.

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Goetz, A. T., Shackelford, T. K., Starratt, V. G., & McKibbin, W. F. (2008). Intimate partner violence. In J. D. Duntley & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Evolutionary forensic psychology (pp. 65-78). New York: Oxford University Press.

 Intimate Partner Violence

Aaron T. Goetz, Todd K. Shackelford, Valerie G. Starratt, and William F. McKibbin

 The theory of evolution by natural selection revolutionized the study of biology. So too is it revolutionizing the study of human psychology and behavior. Charles Darwin himself predicted, “Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history” (1859, p. 488). Modern evolutionary psychological perspectives have been used to predict and understand a diverse array of human behaviors, such as altruism, mating, and violence. In the past few decades, many psychologists have begun to recognize the value of using an evolutionary perspective to guide their research. With a focus on evolved mechanisms and associated information-processing features, evolutionary psychology has risen as a powerful heuristic tool for the study of human psychology and behavior. Evolutionary psychology leads researchers to look at old phenomena in a different light. Such a new perspective potentially offers powerful insights into human psychology and behavior. In this chapter, we use the tools provided by evolutionary theory to explore why violence and abuse occur between intimate partners. Specifically, we focus our discussion on physical and sexual intimate partner violence.

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McKibbin, W. F., Goetz, A. T., Shackelford, T. K., Schipper, L., Starratt, V. G., & Stewart-Williams, S. (2007). Why do men insult their partners? Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 231-241.

Why do men insult their intimate partners?

William F. McKibbin a, Aaron T. Goetz a, Todd K. Shackelford a, Lucas D. Schipper a, Valerie G. Starratt a, Steve Stewart-Williams b

aFlorida Atlantic University
b McMaster University


Men sometimes insult their intimate partners and these insults predict intimate partner violence. No research has investigated the function of men’s partner-directed insults. We hypothesize that men’s partner-directed
insults are designed to retain their long-term mate and, therefore, that men’s use of partner-directed insults will covary with other mate retention behaviors. Using the mate retention inventory and the partner-directed insults scale, we conducted two studies to test this hypothesis. Study 1 included 245 men who reported their mate retention behaviors and partner-directed insults. Correlations and multiple regression analyses documented the predicted relationships between men’s partner-directed insults and mate retention behaviors. Study 2 included 372 women who reported their partner’s mate retention behaviors and insults that their partner-directed at them. The results replicated the results of Study 1. Discussion highlights future directions for investigating the relationships between men’s partner-directed insults and mate retention behaviors.

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