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Telephone Survey Respondents' Reactions to Questions Regarding Interpersonal Violence

NCJ Number
Violence and Victims Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: August 2006 Pages: 445-459
Michele C. Black Ph.D.; Marcie-jo Kresnow M.S.; Thomas R. Simon Ph.D.; Ileana Arias Ph.D.; Gene Shelley Ph.D.
Date Published
August 2006
15 pages
This study explored participant reactions to telephone surveys that included questions about violent victimization.
Main findings indicated that the vast majority of telephone survey respondents believed that questions about violent victimization should be included in a telephone survey and were willing to answer such questions. Moreover, the vast majority of respondents were not afraid or upset as a result of being asked about their experiences with violent victimization. Even among respondents who did report feeling upset or afraid of questions about their victimization experiences, the majority still believed such questions should be asked in telephone surveys. The results suggest that previously held beliefs about participants’ reactions to research questions about sensitive topics such as interpersonal violence may be unfounded and provide assurance for researchers concerned with the ethical collection of data on sensitive topics. Data were drawn from the second Injury Control and Risk Survey (ICARIS-2) and a pilot survey of sexual violence and interpersonal violence modules for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (SIPV). The ICARIS-2 and SIPV involved random-digit dial (RDD) telephone surveys of 9,684 and 7,698 respondents, respectively, that included questions about their experiences with interpersonal violence. Reactions to the questions about victimization were compared between victims and nonvictims. Responses among victims were evaluated based on type of violence, past 12 months victimization, and relationship to perpetrator. Future research should focus on any positive feelings respondents experienced as a result of their research participation. Tables, references


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