U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Research on Bias Crime Victimization

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $624,638)

Statement of the Problem: Bias victimization is widespread and has serious physical and emotional consequences for victims. Researchers have called for better bias victimization surveillance tools and research is particularly needed on the extent that youth suffer from bias crimes and victimization. To address this gap, the proposed study will use a mixed-methods approach to develop a comprehensive youth bias crime violence exposure instrument, the Youth Bias Victimization Questionnaire (Y-BVQ). Subjects: The Y-BVQ will be piloted using innovative community-based sampling strategies in three areas of the U.S.: Boston, Philadelphia, and rural Appalachia. Participants will include a sample of 900 racially and ethnically diverse groups of youth ages 10-21 living in urban and rural settings, and in communities with high immigrant populations. Partnerships: The research is a collaboration between the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) at the University of New Hampshire; the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University; and the Life Paths Appalachian Research Center. Research Design and Methods: The study uses an intensive, mixed-methods approach to instrument development. Phase 1 involves a comprehensive conceptual and development process following procedures our research team has used to establish previous victimization surveys. The scale will be reviewed by youth violence specialists, focus groups of teens, and administered in cognitive interviews to determine the appropriateness of language and content. Phase 2 involves pilot administration of the instrument to a sample of 900 youth. A Y-BVQ toolkit for researchers, law enforcement and prevention experts will be developed that will include the instrument, administration guidelines, scoring options, and interpretation of responses. Analysis: Instrument psychometrics will examine content validity and internal consistency. Construct validity will be examined with correlations with trauma symptoms, community disorder, and other indicators of distress and dysfunction. We will examine the factor structure of the scale using principal factors analysis with orthogonal and oblique rotations. Pilot data on bias victimization incidence and relationships between victimization and youth demographic and risk factors (peer victimization, adverse events, community safety, and mental health symptoms) will be analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square analyses, t-test and logistic regression analyses. Products, Reports, and Data Archiving: Project findings will be disseminated through manuscripts submitted to peer-reviewed journals; presentations at two national conferences; and a final summary report suitable for all audiences. The data will be archived at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data Center. Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 17, 2015