The JVQ-R2 can be administered as an interview to youth, caregivers, or adults (who retrospectively report on childhood experiences). There are also options available for administration as a self-administered questionnaire (see Available Versions of the JVQ-R2). The following provides general guidelines for administration.
Context, Rapport, and Setting
For any use of the JVQ-R2, including clinical, school, or research settings, it is important that respondents are comfortable and motivated to answer accurately. The setting should be private enough so that the child or caregiver can be assured that no one besides the test examiner can hear or see the answers to JVQ-R2 questions. A private office is ideal. If the JVQ-R2 is to be administered in a group setting in a school or similar location, it is recommended that children be seated in every other chair or some other arrangement that affords the maximum amount of privacy.
As with any assessment, the JVQ-R2 should be introduced by briefly explaining the reason the JVQ-R2 is being administered, how the results will be used, and what feedback, if any, will be available to the child and/or caregiver. If children are the source of information, both children and caregivers should understand in advance what access, if any, caregivers will have to information provided by the respondent. Given the focus of the JVQ-R2 on juvenile victimization, some arrangements should be made in advance to ensure that children have access to helping resources and that some mechanism is in place for assisting children in danger.
Many of the items on the JVQ-R2 have been experienced by a majority of the U.S. population. These include peer and sibling assaults and witnessing physical assaults of others. Victimizations such as property crimes are also quite common. Thus, it is fine to communicate in some way that many children have had the types of experiences that will be asked about in order to make youth more comfortable disclosing their own experiences. Confidentiality should also be clearly addressed in an effort to increase the likelihood of accurate disclosure. While there may be limits to confidentiality in some settings, children should still be made aware that their answers will only be known to a small group and will not be disclosed, for instance, to peers, siblings, or others. If parents are to be told the results of the questionnaire, they should also be encouraged to protect the child’s privacy.
The administration of the JVQ-R2 is fairly straightforward and can be conducted by any experienced test examiner who becomes familiar with the questions. Paraprofessionals or research assistants should only administer the JVQ-R2 under supervision. The JVQ-R2 includes a number of sensitive questions and any examiner should be capable of discussing these concepts without personal anxiety and know how to gain assistance for any child in need. Interpretation of the scores, on the other hand, requires a qualified professional who is familiar with the psychometric properties of the test and current knowledge on juvenile victimization.
Most children aged 8 to 17 and adults should be able to complete the JVQ-R2 as an interview. Most youth 12 and older and most adults will be able to complete the self-administered version of the JVQ-R2. Children or adults who may have poor reading abilities should be administered an interview version of the JVQ. This could be administered face-to-face, over the telephone, or as an audio-enhanced computer-assisted self interview (audio-CASI). Youth or adults with mild cognitive or neurological difficulties will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for their ability to understand the questions and communicate a reply. Highly verbal 6- and 7-year-old children may also be able to complete the child interview.
Caregivers should be individuals who have had regular contact with the target child for at least the one-year period prior to the interview. It is not appropriate for use by non-custodial or foster parents who have not been a primary caregiver of the child for the duration of the previous year. The caregiver interview can be used for children of any age from birth to 17 years, although it is preferable to use youth self-report for older children (age 10 and older) if the youth is available.
Completion of All Questionnaire Items
Every respondent should be encouraged to respond to all of the JVQ-R2 items in order to obtain the most accurate victimization rates. Of course, respondents should be made aware of their right to decline to answer any questions or discontinue. Examiners should be especially sensitive to children’s expressions of desires to omit a question or stop the questionnaire. Examiners should repeat the question or otherwise help clarify the item if it appears the respondent did not understand the item.