Using NCVS Interviewer Narratives to Study Assaultive Violence

Lynn A. Addington, The American University

For each incident reported to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the interviewer writes a brief summary to describe the victimization and provide details not captured by the interview questions. As the summaries are not widely accesible, these unique data are an underutilized resource for measuring victimization. Because of their narrative format, the summaries have the capability to provide nuances and context to victimization incidents not possible with the standard NCVS questions. This research analyzes summaries from approximately 500 assault incidents involving adolescent victims to determine (1) the additional information that can be gleaned from these data, (2) how these summaries provide a further understanding of assaultive violence, and (3) the overall quality of these data.

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Updated 05/20/2006