skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 183160 Find in a Library
Title: Measuring Civilian Defensive Firearm Use: A Methodological Experiment
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:16  Issue:1  Dated:March 2000  Pages:1-19
Author(s): David McDowall; Colin Loftin; Stanley Presser
Date Published: March 2000
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An experimental study examined the impact of methodological differences between the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and other studies on estimates of crime victims’ defensive use of guns, because estimates from the NCVS are consistently lower than are those from other studies.
Abstract: The research used a standard crossover design. Telephone interviews collected the information from 3,001 households. Half the participants answered questions from the NCVS, followed by questions from the other surveys. The other half answered the questions in the reverse order. The research examined two hypotheses: (1) Survey methods account for the divergent results, and (2) The questions cover unrelated activities. Results provided some support for the first hypothesis, but participants also reported many more defenses to the questions from the other surveys than to the NCVS questions. Findings were consistent with the second hypothesis in suggesting that the NCVS and the other surveys measure responses to largely different provocations. Findings also indicated the need to avoid comparing other survey estimates of defense to NCVS estimates of crime. 22 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Citizen gun use; Personal Security/Self Protection; Research design; Research methods; Self defense; Self-report studies; Victimization surveys
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.