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05-02-2021 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2021

The Exposure to Violence Questionnaire in Adolescents: Psychometrics and Associations with Well-being

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2021
Susana Pedras, Paulo A.S. Moreira, Sofia Ramalho, Richard A. Inman, Sara Faria, Marta Araújo
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Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-021-01903-9.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Exposure to violence can have strong detrimental effects on adolescents, including long-term negative consequences for development, adjustment, and functionality. This study tests the factorial structure, psychometric properties, and construct validity of a Portuguese version of the Exposure to Violence Scale (EVS); a measure of adolescents’ direct and indirect exposure to violence at school, in their community, at home, and on TV. The study sample comprised 306 Portuguese adolescents, 53.9% of whom were boys (Mage = 13 years, SD = 1.6), from the 6th to 10th grades. These adolescents completed the EVS, a measure of positive and negative affect, and a measure of perceived quality of life. We used confirmatory factor analysis to test structural validity. This analysis indicated that a seven correlated factors model fit well with the data. Cronbach’s alpha values indicated that the sub-scales were reliable. T-tests indicated that older adolescents typically reported greater exposure to violence than younger adolescents, and that boys experienced more direct violence at school and home, and indirect violence in the community, than girls did. Finally, positive correlations with negative affect, and negative correlations with positive affect and well-being, offered evidence of convergent validity. The EVS for Portuguese adolescents has adequate psychometric properties for use as a brief screening tool for assessing the various forms and contexts of exposure to violence in adolescents. Having this validated instrument for use in Portugal has important implications for teachers, health and social professionals, and researchers.

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