Compendium of

Gender Scales

Household Decision-Making Scale

Scale Objective

To measure women's household decision-making, as perceived by couples, men alone, and women alone

Type(s) of Behavior or Outcomes Predicted

Contraceptive use

Types of Items Included

Decision-making related to purchases and to visiting friends and relatives

Number of Items and Subscales

3 items

Scale Items

Scoring Procedures

Responses were scored between 1 and 4: 1 = respondent; 2 = spouse/partner; 3 = respondent and spouse/partner jointly; 4 = someone else.

Psychometrics Used in Scale Construction

Estimates of internal consistency:

Type(s) of Statistics Used to Test Predictive Validity

Multivariate logistic regression

Used with Women


Used with Men


Country or Countries Where Tested or Applied

12 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America

Additional Information

Items were derived from couples' datasets in demographic and health surveys (DHS)—for example, DHS couples re-code data for Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya. Women's household decision-making power reliably predicts contraceptive use in countries with low scores on the gender-related development index (GDI).



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