Objective: To assess the utility and performance of the 34-item Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ) in eliciting the recent victimization experiences of a national sample of children ages 2-17.
Method: The JVQ was administered in a national random digit dial telephone survey about the experiences of 2,030 children. The experiences of children 10-17 years old were assessed through youth self-report on the JVQ, and the experiences of children 2-9 assessed through JVQ caregiver proxy report.
Results: Large numbers of recent victimizations were disclosed using the JVQ (71% of the sample reporting at least one victimization in the last year, with an average of 2.63 victimizations per child). There were few indicators of respondent confusion and little resistance to even the most sensitive questions. In a test of construct validity, endorsements of JVQ items correlated well with measures of traumatic symptoms. The instrument showed adequate test-retest reliability in a 3 to 4 week re-administration. Large numbers of victimizations were reported across the spectrum of ages, and there were no major discontinuities between the self-reports and proxy reports, suggesting that caregivers provided generally adequate and comparable information to child self-reports about the experiences of children under the age of 10.
Conclusion: The JVQ has potential for use in future epidemiological research as well as clinical evaluation concerning the victimization of children.