Children's self-reports about violence exposure: An examination of the Things I Have Seen and Heard Scale.
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Children's exposure to violence is often found to be an important predictor of child outcomes. The measures most frequently used to assess it have not been systematically examined, and there is little consensus about how to use these measures. This study examined a version of the Things I Have Seen and Heard Scale in a sample of 784 children who completed the scale at both age 6 and 8. There was only modest support for the use of the scale as a set of single-item measures or as a simple sum of items. Exploratory factor analyses suggested that the scale consisted of two factors: a global/community violence scale and a home violence scale. The evidence for validity of the scales was stronger at age 8 than at age 6. These findings suggest that there may be some limits to the utility of self-reports of violence exposure in very young children. However, there is initial evidence that the global/community scale is a reliable and valid indicator of young children's exposure to violence. Further use and exploration of the subscales is warranted.
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