Challenges in Administering Self-Report Measures to the Female Offender Population

Alisa Guthrie, The Program for Women and Families

When administering self-report measures to the female offender population there are multiple challenges to consider. This paper will focus on two areas. There are the obvious obstacles such as the language barriers, educational levels, but a major challenge is the population's lack of trust of authority figures. This paper will outline how project coordinators can carefully and strategically build rapport with the women they survey. The other main challenge to the implementation of a conventional research project design is the transience of this population. Challenges to including a control group and follow-up questionnaires to track subjects' progress will be discussed. This paper will conclude by offering suggestions on how to design a research project that will work with the female offender population.

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Updated 05/20/2006