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Methodological Research To Support the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence

Goals and Objectives

This project includes the development of a research design and survey instrument that produce accurate and reliable national estimates of and trends in children's exposure to violence. This work will build on NatSCEV's previous efforts and contribute to the field's understanding of children's exposure to violence, abuse, and neglect (both direct and indirect). Westat will work with BJS and OJJDP to develop specific recommendations for:

  • content of the survey instrument that serve the field's information needs.
  • development of a universe frame or frames.
  • a sampling plan.
  • the viability of supporting various subgroup estimates.
  • modes of data collection.
  • methods to improve response rates.
  • strategies to address nonresponse bias.
  • preferred reference periods for trend analysis.

More specifically, this research will:

  • evaluate and assess the prior NatSCEV survey instruments, universe frames, sampling designs, sampling implementation, data collection modes, item response rates, and analytic approaches.
  • review current literature on collecting information on sensitive topics and from hard-to-reach populations, especially on young children.
  • form expert panels to inform the NatSCEV redesign, one with experts on child victimization and one with expertise on methodology.
  • based on these findings, propose survey instrument content for measuring children's exposure to violence.
  • propose alternative universe frames, sampling plans, and data collection procedures to assess children's exposure to violence that maintain participant safety and comfort.
  • propose alternatives to improve response rates, address nonresponse bias, and increase the precision of national estimates of children's exposure to violence.
  • Evaluate, through cognitive testing and pilot studies, the feasibility, utility, and costs associated with the proposed alternative methods relative to those used in prior survey waves.
  • make final recommendations to improve or enhance the next NatSCEV data collection.

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Date Created: March 30, 2020