Creation of a community violence exposure scale: Accounting for what, who, where, and how often


  • Data collection for this study was funded by K08 HL 04187 and a Deborah Monroe Noonan Foundation grant. During preparation of this manuscript Shakira Franco Suglia was supported by F31 HD049317-01 and T32 MH073122; Rosalind J Wright was supported by R01 ES10932, R01 HL080674, and U01 HL072494.


Previous research has used the Rasch model, a method for obtaining a continuous scale from dichotomous survey items measuring a single latent construct, to create a scale of community violence exposure. The authors build upon previous work and describe the application of a Rasch model using the continuation ratio model to create an exposure to community violence (ETV) scale including event circumstance information previously shown to modify the impact of experienced events. They compare the Rasch ETV scale to a simpler sum ETV score, and estimate the effect of ETV on child posttraumatic stress symptoms. Incorporating detailed event circumstance information that is grounded in traumatic stress theory may reduce measurement error in the assessment of children's community violence exposure.