My Exposure to Violence

The My Exposure to Violence (Buka & Selner-O'Hagen, 1997) instrument has been developed for the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (Earls & Buka, 1977). It requests information on exposure to 24 different types of violent events. For each type of event information is sought on the frequency of exposure, the setting in which it occurred, and the identity of victim and perpetrator. The measure has three primary scales; (1) witnessing violent events, (2) victimization, and (3) total exposure.


My Exposure to Violence is adapted from the same measure developed for the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (Buka et al., 1996). The Fast Track Project version of this measure collects information on a student's exposure to five types of violent events including: beating, attack with a weapon, gun shot, accident or other event resulting in death or serious injury, and threat by another person with serious injury. For each type of event, the respondent is also asked whether the event occurred at home, at school, or in the neighborhood; whether the event ever occurred, or occurred in the past year; and whether the event occurred more than once. Response choices for all items except event frequency are "Yes (1)" and "No (0)." The item that asks for frequency of each violent event ("Has this happened once or more than once?") has the response choices "Once (1)" and "More than once (2)."

This measure contains two question sets for each type of violent event. One question set elicits information from the respondent as a witness to the event. The other set asks for the same information when the respondent is a victim of a violent event. There are two subscales and a total scale. The subscales are: Witnessing Violence and Victimization.

T-tests of means show significant differences between the normative and control groups for the Witnessing Violence subscore, the Victimization subscore, and the Total Score. Alpha values for both subscores and the Total Score are good. These scales should be useful, depending on the construct of interest.

The distribution of Total Score is slightly positively skewed in both the normative and control groups. In the normative group, the Victimization subscore distribution has a floor effect, with 56% of scores at zero, and the Witnessing Violence distribution is slightly positively skewed. In the control group, the Victimization score is slightly positively skewed.

Dataset Names

Raw Dataset Name: CyX
Scored Dataset Name: MEVySCc


Physical Assault, Weapons, Guns, Violence, Physical Threat.