Beyond Collective Efficacy: Community Measures as Predictors of Victimization 1 1 2 3 Lindsey Thomas, Sherry Hamby, Victoria Banyard, & John Grych 1 Exploring, Understanding, Overcoming. ABSTRACT The relationship between social support and victimization has been studied extensively; however, community measures assessing the outer layers of the social ecology have received much less attention, particularly as a means of predicting victimization. Participants from a Southern region completed a survey as part of a larger study on character development and personal strength. Using linear regression, Collective Efficacy, Support for Community Youth, and Social Support all showed unique contributions to variance in victimization. The Informal Community Support measure, however, was not a statistically significant predictor of victimization. The significant predictive power of the community measures suggests that the outer layers of the social ecology should be assessed and considered when looking at victimization. Likewise, community characteristics should be further investigated as potential risk factors or as protective factors relating to victimization. INTRODUCTION • Social support has been studied as a potential protective factor for victims (and witnesses) of violence (Scarpa, 2006), but these studies are typically limited to immediate dyadic relationships (family, friends, etc.). • The outer layers of the social ecology and community ties, particularly their potential for predicting victimization, are not often studied. • Informal community support and support for community youth are two aspects of communities that are not captured in many existing measures. To better assess these facets, we included two new, brief measures along with the well-established measure of collective efficacy. 2 3 Sewanee: the University of the South, University of New Hampshire, Marquette University METHODS Participants. Our community sample includes 1706 participants from a rural, low-income Southern region. Ages range from 11 to 70 years old (M=29.3 years; SD=12.3 years), and 63% of participants are female. The majority (78%) of our sample is White. Procedure. As part of a larger study on character development and personal strength, participants completed a confidential and anonymous computer-assisted self-interview (CASI). The majority (81%) of participants were recruited at community events throughout the region, such as local festivals or arts and craft fairs. All participants received a $30 Walmart gift card as compensation for their time. MEASURES Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ)—Key Domains. The JVQ is used in the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV). An abbreviated version of key domains was used here that assessed: Assault, Peer Victimization, Exposure to Family Violence, Parent-Child Dysfunction, and Witnessed Violence (Hamby et al., 2004). Collective Efficacy (CE). The Neighborhood Collective Efficacy Index (Sampson et al., 1997) measures social cohesion and the willingness of neighbors to intervene to control delinquency. Informal Community Support (ICS). This scale uses 5 items to assess both tangible and intangible means of community support. It was adapted from a survey used by the U.S. Air Force (2011). RESULTS Social Support (SS). This scale includes 4 items from Zimet et al., (1988) and 6 items from NatSCEV (Turner et al., 2010) that assess perceived social support from one’s immediate social network. • Our model combined two measures of wellestablished constructs—social support and collective efficacy—with two new measures that assess different facets of community support. Three of these measures were significant predictors of victimization. CORRELATIONS All predictors variables showed significant negative correlations with the JVQ, with r ranging from -.13 to -.20. See Table 1. The three community measures all showed significant positive correlations with each other and with social support, with r ranging from .31 to .57. See Table 1. Table 1. Correlations Among Measures JVQ CE ICS -- SCY CE -.15*** ICS -.13*** .57*** SCY -.16*** .43*** .52*** SS -.20*** .31*** .34*** -- -- -- --.32*** *P<.05; **P<.01; ***P<.001 MULTIPLE REGRESSION Multiple Linear Regression revealed that Collective Efficacy, Support for Community Youth, and Social Support were all significant predictors of victimization. See Table 2. Informal Community Support, however, was not a statistically significant predictor of victimization. See Table 2. Table 2. Multiple Regression Analyses of Community Measures and Social Support as Predictors of Victimization Predictor Support for Community Youth (SCY). This brief measures (2 items) is also adapted from the U.S. Air Force (2011), and it measures community support available specifically to youth (ages 1018). DISCUSSION CE B -.142 SE .061 β -.069* p .020 • The statistically significant predictive power of collective efficacy and support for community youth suggests that the outer layers of the social ecology should be considered when studying violence and victimization. Both of these constructs could be potentially malleable characteristics and potentially affect most, if not all, members of a given community. • Although the R2 was relatively low, the broad impact of community characteristics still make them a potentially useful target of prevention and intervention. • A potential limitation of our model could be multicollinearity. When regressions were run separately for each community measure, informal community support was a significant predictor. • Future research could further explore interrelationships of these dimensions and whether different aspects of community are differentially associated with certain types of violence and victimization differently. REFERENCES Hamby, S., Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., & Turner, H. (2004). The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ): Administration and scoring manual. Durham, NH: Crimes Against Children Research Center. Sampson, R. J., Raudenbush, S. W., & Earls, F. (1997). Neighborhoods and violent crime: A multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science, 277(5328), 918-924. Scarpa, A., & Haden, S. C. (2006). Community violence victimization and aggressive behavior: The moderating effects of coping and social support. Aggressive Behavior, 32(5), 502-515. Turner, H. A., Finkelhor, D., & Ormrod, R. (2010). Poly-victimization in a national sample of children and youth. American journal of preventive medicine, 38(3), 323-330. U.S. Air Force (2011). 2011 U.S. Air Force Community Assessment: Survey data codebook. Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Zimet, G. D., Dahlem, N. W., Zimet, S. G., & Farley, G. K. (1988). The multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Journal of personality assessment, 52(1), 30-41. ICS .014 .045 .009 .763 SCY -.257 .085 -.086** .003 SS -.118 .020 -.156*** .000 *P<.05; **P<.01; ***P<.001 The overall model fit was R2 =.054 This project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this project are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. I grew up with everybody, and everybody always kind of took care of everybody. If someone needed a cup of sugar or if someone needed their yard mowed and their lawnmower was broken, they’d mow our yard and their yard. You didn’t have to worry…. We had really good neighbors.
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