This report presents the results of a study that used an intensive, mixed-methods approach to develop a comprehensive youth bias crime violence exposure instrument.
The study used an intensive, mixed-methods approach to develop a comprehensive youth bias crime violence exposure instrument, the Youth Bias Victimization Questionnaire (YBVQ). The YBVQ items and question structure were developed through a combination of youth focus groups, cognitive interviews, and expert review. Pilot data was collected on a sample of 854 youth ages 11-21 across three research sites. Subjects were recruited using an intercept strategy in order to obtain larger percentages of minority youth. Findings from the study indicate that bias victimization is a common form of victimization, particular for minority youth subgroups. Sixty-three percent of the total sample reported some kind of bias victimization experience in their lifetime, 42 percent reported bias victimization in the previous year, and 83 percent of the sample reported witnessing a bias victimization in the previous year. The YBVQ provides a new tool for researchers interested in collecting detailed information on experiences youth have with bias victimization, from bias-based bullying to more traditionally defined hate crimes. Law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals should be aware of the negative impact that bias victimization has on youth, even if the incident does not meet criteria for a hate crime. Because schools are primary contexts in which bias victimization occurs, school resource officers and other school staff should be aware that socially marginalized youth are at-risk for bias victimization, and in particular multiple forms of bias victimization.