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Measuring Victimhood: Developing a Victim Self-Ascription Scale
Unformatted Document Text:  DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ## methodological purposes as will become clear later in the paper. Second, the 'victimization' section included a screener questionnaire which asked whether respondents had experienced any of a total of fifteen unpleasant events (see Table 3, below), and if so which they had experienced most recently. Respondents reporting having experienced such an event were instructed to fill out instruments which assessed perceptions of harm, external attributions and injustice in relation to the event. Situationally specific measures of anger, self-ascribed secondary rights and self-description as a victim were also included. The order of administration of the 'personality' and 'victimization' sections was randomized. Items on the screener questionnaire were developed through the combination and consolidation of items from three existing trauma screener questionnaires. These were the Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (TLEQ, 17 items; Kubany, 1995) the Life Events Checklist (LEC, 17 items; Gray et al., 2004) and the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (SLESQ, 13 items; Goodman et al., 1998). Each of these instruments was each originally designed to assess lifetime exposure to presumptively- traumatizing events. In each case, the authors acknowledged that reactions to such events were likely to vary, and that the presumption that every example would be traumatizing was unsafe. Their solution was generally to encourage respondents to think of the ‘worst’ of the events that they had experienced in the hope this would capture only events which were indeed traumatizing. The approach taken in this paper, by contrast, was to ask respondents to consider their ‘most recent’ experience of an event (or, if there was only one, of that event) on the list, and to seek to investigate variation in the perceptions of that event, rather than in the trauma that might have resulted. The screener questionnaire in this study included items which covered all of the substantive areas included in these other instruments, while consolidating some items (e.g. items on car crashes and other Page 11

Authors: Davies, Andrew.
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DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ##
methodological purposes as will become clear later in the paper.  Second, the 'victimization' section 
included a screener questionnaire which asked whether respondents had experienced any of a total of 
fifteen unpleasant events (see Table 3, below), and if so which they had experienced most recently. 
Respondents reporting having experienced such an event were instructed to fill out instruments which 
assessed perceptions of harm, external attributions and injustice in relation to the event.  Situationally 
specific measures of anger, self-ascribed secondary rights and self-description as a victim were also 
included.  The order of administration of the 'personality' and 'victimization' sections was randomized.
Items on the screener questionnaire were developed through the combination and consolidation of 
items from three existing trauma screener questionnaires.  These were the Traumatic Life Events 
Questionnaire (TLEQ, 17 items; Kubany, 1995) the Life Events Checklist (LEC, 17 items; Gray et al., 
2004) and the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (SLESQ, 13 items; Goodman et al., 1998). 
Each of these instruments was each originally designed to assess lifetime exposure to presumptively-
traumatizing events.  In each case, the authors acknowledged that reactions to such events were likely 
to vary, and that the presumption that every example would be traumatizing was unsafe.  Their solution 
was generally to encourage respondents to think of the ‘worst’ of the events that they had experienced 
in the hope this would capture only events which were indeed traumatizing.  The approach taken in this 
paper, by contrast, was to ask respondents to consider their ‘most recent’ experience of an event (or, if 
there was only one, of that event) on the list, and to seek to investigate variation in the perceptions of 
that event, rather than in the trauma that might have resulted.
The screener questionnaire in this study included items which covered all of the substantive areas 
included in these other instruments, while consolidating some items (e.g. items on car crashes and other 
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