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Cognitive Interviewing to Improve Questionnaires for Justice-Involved Youth

This study demonstrates the utility of cognitive interviewing for survey and scale development in criminal justice research and identifies common comprehension problems with survey items for justice-involved youth. A cognitive interviewing strategy was utilized with a sample of youth who completed a...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Silva, Jason R.
Contributors: Fera, Beth (VerfasserIn); Sudula, Susruta (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
Year: 2019, Volume: 63, Issue: 10, Pages: 1931-1951
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:This study demonstrates the utility of cognitive interviewing for survey and scale development in criminal justice research and identifies common comprehension problems with survey items for justice-involved youth. A cognitive interviewing strategy was utilized with a sample of youth who completed a survey examining risk factors for recidivism. A content analysis of interviews was used to identify patterns and to classify the nature and type of comprehension issues youth experienced. Five specific comprehension issues were identified including reading comprehension, item ambiguity, precondition binds, double-barreled questions, and double negatives. Findings illustrate the value of cognitive interviewing for pretesting survey items for justice-involved youth and provide further insight into issues surrounding word choice, question structure, and response sets. Results also point to the need to reassess the validity of established scales used in contemporary studies. Limitations of the current study and implications for future research are discussed.
ISSN:1552-6933