The Reliability and Validity of Questions Measuring Self-Reported Student-on-Student Victimization

John J. Kerbs, Florida State University
Stephen A. Rollin, Florida State University
Isabelle Potts, Florida State University
Cheryl Kaiser-Ulrey, Florida State University
Alia Haque Creason, Florida State University
Laura McLaughlin, Florida State University

Criminologists and policy makers have focused increasingly on issues pertaining to school violence in general and student-on-student victimization (SSV) in particular. This paper examines the validity and reliability of an interview schedule used to assess four subtypes of SSV - - i.e., psychological, property, physical, and sexual student-on-student victimization. The presentation will begin with a review of the core components of "The SSV Protocol"-- a comprehensive, new, and theoretically-informed interview schedule designed for use with junior-high and high-school students. For each of the four subtypes of victimization, The SSV Protocol measures each student's: 1) affective assessment of fear; 2) cognitive assessment of perceived risk for future SSV; 3) prevalence rates for reported SSV in the past 30 days, the past year, and all prior years of schooling; and 4) opinions regarding policy suggestions for preventing SSV. Because SSV occurs within the socio-environmental context of a school, this survey also measures socio-environmental factors that might increase or decrease the fear, perceived risk, and prevalence of SSV. Finally, this survey examines both avoidant and aggressive behaviors used by respondents to protect themselves against potential SSV. Although many survey and interview schedules are not necessarily designed to test theoretical models of school victimization, The SSV Protocol contains ample measures to test theoretically-informed hypotheses associated with criminal opportunity theories of victimization (Meier & Miethe, 1993; Miethe & Meier, 1994, 1990), and Goffman's dramaturgical framework (1959, 1963) as applied to the role of stigma in SSV.

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Updated 05/20/2006