This study evaluated the measurement of a self-report of offending measure (SRO) among female and male juveniles and Hispanic, African-American, and White male juveniles.
Adapted for this study, the SRO, the Self-Report of Offending was used to measure the juveniles' account of involvement in antisocial and illegal activities. The study, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention was designed to evaluate the cross-gender (male and female) and cross-ethnic/race measurement equivalence (Hispanic, African-American, and White) of a SRO. The study sample consisted of 1,354 juvenile offenders enrolled in the Research on Pathways to Desistance Project. To assess lifetime offending, 24 items were used to assess whether the juvenile had engaged in criminal activities, including aggressive crimes, income-generating crimes, and public order offenses. The pattern of results indicates that the SRO measure produces a reasonably good indicator of illegal activities. The confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the items on the SRO appeared to be assessing the same underlying construct. The construct validity coefficients indicated that the scores on the SRO were related significantly to all of the theoretically linked constructs examined in the set of analyses. The findings were consistent with the nomological net of expected relationships for a measure of illegal activities. The SRO measure appeared to be assessing criminal activities of Hispanic and White male research participants, and this measure appeared to have some scalar equivalence across these two groups. The SRO performed reasonably well in terms of measurement equivalence across gender and race/ethnicity. The study supports continued use of the SRO measure in heterogeneous groups of offenders. Tables, references