U.S. flag

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

Assessing Exposure to Violence in Urban Youth

NCJ Number
Journal of Child Psychology and Child Psychiatry Volume: 39 Issue: 2 Dated: 1998 Pages: 215-224
Date Published
December 1991
10 pages

This study reports on the development of a structured interview, My Exposure to Violence (My ETV), was designed to assess child and youth exposure to violence, as well as its use with 80 Chicago youths between ages 9 and 24; the youths were part of a longitudinal study, the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods.


The data resulting from the use of My ETV were fit to a Rasch model for rating scales, a technique that generated interval level measures and allowed the characterization of both chronic and acute exposure to violence. Results indicated good fit statistics for six scales that covered the youths' lifetime victimization, victimization during the past year, the witnessing of violence, and total exposure to violence. Younger participants generally reported less exposure to violence than did older participants. Males reported more exposure than did females. Black participants reported higher levels of exposure than did white participants. Violent offenders reported more exposure than did non offenders. Finally, those living in high-crime areas reported more exposure than did those living in low-crime areas. Tables and 58 references (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: December 1, 1991