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Dataset Details

Developmental Victimization Survey (DVS), 2002-2003

Dataset Number: 126

Current Data Version: 1.1


Heather Turner University of New Hampshire Durham, NH David Finkelhor, Ph.D. University of New Hampshire Durham, NH


The Developmental Victimization Survey (DVS), was designed to obtain one-year incidence estimates of a comprehensive range of childhood victimizations across gender, race, and developmental stage. Conducted between December 2002, and February 2003, it assessed the experiences of a nationally representative sample of children age 2-17 living in the contiguous United States.The sample selection procedures were based on a list-assisted random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey design. A short interview was conducted with an adult caregiver (usually a parent) to obtain family demographic information. One child was randomly selected from all eligible children living in a household by selecting the child with the most recent birthday. If the selected child was 10-17 years old, the main telephone interview was conducted with the child. If the selected child was 2-9 years old, the interview was conducted with the caregiver who “is most familiar with the child’s daily routine and experiences.”

Interviews were completed with 79.5% of the eligible persons contacted. All procedures were authorized by the Institutional Review Board of the University of New Hampshire.This survey utilized the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ), a recently constructed inventory of childhood victimization. The JVQ obtains reports on 34 forms of offenses against youth that cover five general areas of concern: Conventional Crime, Child Maltreatment, Peer and Sibling Victimization, Sexual Assault, and Witnessing and Indirect Victimization. Follow-up questions for each screener item gathered additional information, including perpetrator characteristics, the use of a weapon, whether injury resulted, and whether the event occurred in conjunction with another screener. The final sample represented 2,030 children age 2-17 living in the contiguous United States. Half (50%) of the sample is male; 51% are 2-9 year olds, while 49% are age 10-17. Almost 10% of the sample reported a household income of under $20,000, while about 34% had annual incomes between $20,000 and $50,000. The survey sample is 76% White (non-Hispanic), 11% Black (non-Hispanic), 9% Hispanic (any race) and 3.5% from other races including American Indian and Asian.

Bibliographic Citation

Turner, H., & Finkelhor, D. (2007). Developmental Victimization Survey (DVS), 2002-2003, Version 1.1 [Dataset]. National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. Https://

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