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Effective Methods to Assess Exposure to Violence and Victimization Among American Indian and Alaskan Native Youth

Award Information

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $421,104)

This study is intended to improve the health and well-being of American Indian/Alaska Native (AN/AN) youth by developing a survey instrument and research design that can effectively assess exposure to violence and victimization. The project combines the extensive resources of two groups with considerable relevant experience. The American Indian Development Associates, LLC (AIDA) is a 100% Indian-owned organization that has led many studies and training programs related to crime and violence in tribal communities. They have close ties to tribal governments and service providers, and a deep understanding of how to engage in collaborative research in the AI/AN community. The Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) has a long history of developing instruments and conducting research to assess youth violence exposure. Their efforts have been responsible for two of the most important milestones in this field, the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ) and the National Survey of Children Exposed to Violence, jointly funded by the USDOJ and the CDC. The project involves five stages: 1) Assembling and acquiring input from stakeholders; 2) Reviewing existing instruments; 3) Developing the instrument, design and implementation protocols; 4)Doing cognitive testing of the instrument to assure comprehension; 5) Pilot testing of the design of the instrument. The goal for the instrument is to be comprehensive and include exposure to abuse, neglect, sexual offenses, property crimes, hate crimes, bullying, peer and school assault, exposure to domestic and community violence. The instrument is also intended to be easy to understand, flexible in its utility, relevant to the AI/AN culture and environment and to the agencies involved. Although subject to reconsideration during the project, the initial target is to pilot the instrument and design with youth in 3 geographically and demographically different AI/AN communities, collecting a total of 200 to 500 interviews. At least two or three different modes of administration will be compared likely, face-to-face interviews, paper and pencil self-administered questionnaires, and computer assisted interviews. Among the key outcomes that will be examined are the response and refusal rates, missing data, interview length, willingness to disclose sensitive information, respondent comfort, cost, the ability to provide assistance to respondents, and the ease and adequacy of the human subjects protocol. Results will be disseminated in presentations, USDOJ publications, journal articles and through a website dedicated to the project. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 22, 2014