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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 ## Instead, the instrument was titled 'Survey of Reactions to Unpleasant and Traumatic Events' and subjects were informed that the questions were designed to assess how they felt in the wake of events usually regarded as unpleasant. Subjects were told that the concern was to assess variability in responses to such events and to learn more about why certain people were affected more strongly by unpleasant events than others. The only occurrence of the word 'victim' in the survey came in the single-item measure of victim self-ascription where subjects were invited to indicate whether they agreed with the statement 'I consider myself a victim' in relation to their experience. Results Surveys were administered to a total of 290 undergraduate students enrolled in criminal justice classes at a large Northeastern public university. 271 responses were received, for a participation rate of 93%. Of these, 170 reported at least one victimization experience on the trauma screener portion of the questionnaire, or 63% of responses received. Factor analysis and reliability measures Factor analyses were performed on the measures relating to perceived victimization. In order to address the concern that variation due to random error might affect the factor structure in undesirable ways, artificially inflating the apparent coherence of the measures, Comrey's (1988) recommendation was followed and a sample of half of the data was taken. Analyses were conducted first on this sample. The factor structure obtained in this analysis was then subjected to confirmatory analysis on the full dataset. By the procedure above, the 37 situation-specific victimization perception measures were reduced to an Page 13

Authors: Davies, Andrew.
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DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ##
Instead, the instrument was titled 'Survey of Reactions to Unpleasant and Traumatic Events' and 
subjects were informed that the questions were designed to assess how they felt in the wake of events 
usually regarded as unpleasant.  Subjects were told that the concern was to assess variability in 
responses to such events and to learn more about why certain people were affected more strongly by 
unpleasant events than others.  The only occurrence of the word 'victim' in the survey came in the 
single-item measure of victim self-ascription where subjects were invited to indicate whether they 
agreed with the statement 'I consider myself a victim' in relation to their experience.
Results
Surveys were administered to a total of 290 undergraduate students enrolled in criminal justice classes 
at a large Northeastern public university.  271 responses were received, for a participation rate of 93%. 
Of these, 170 reported at least one victimization experience on the trauma screener portion of the 
questionnaire, or 63% of responses received.
Factor analysis and reliability measures
Factor analyses were performed on the measures relating to perceived victimization.  In order to 
address the concern that variation due to random error might affect the factor structure in undesirable 
ways, artificially inflating the apparent coherence of the measures, Comrey's (1988) recommendation 
was followed and a sample of half of the data was taken.  Analyses were conducted first on this sample. 
The factor structure obtained in this analysis was then subjected to confirmatory analysis on the full 
dataset.
By the procedure above, the 37 situation-specific victimization perception measures were reduced to an 
Page 13


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