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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74682 Find in a Library
Title: Issues in the Measurement of Victimization
Author(s): W G Skogan
Corporate Author: Northwestern University
Ctr for Urban Affairs & Policy Research
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 39
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60201
Grant Number: 78-SS-AX-0045
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This volume summarizes 15 years of research on methodological issues in the measurement of criminal victimization by means of population surveys.
Abstract: The report reviews some features of crime which affect our ability to measure it accurately, including the relative infrequency of serious victimization, the skewed distribution of victimization in the population, and the furtive character of crime. The third chapter addresses issues related to how survey questionnaires are designed to define and measure victimization. It examines the events orientation of victimization surveys, the assumption that crimes always are discrete incidents rather than continuous social processes, and the utility of measures of criminal activity abstracted from their social context. The fourth chapter reviews specific measurement problems: limited distribution of knowledge of incidents, forgetting or inaccurate recall of events, and differential productivity of survey respondents. The next chapter reviews three procedural issues which affect estimates of victimization rates: problems of panel bias and attrition, differences between telephone and inperson interviews, and interviewer effects. The final chapter summarizes the current state of the art in this area and discusses possible future developments in victimization survey methodology. (Author abstract )
Index Term(s): Crime Statistics; Crime surveys; Data collections; Frequency distribution; Statistical analysis; Statistics; Victimization surveys
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