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Abstract

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.