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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;41(8):1049-56.

Assessing exposure to violence using multiple informants: application of hierarchical linear model.

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  • 1Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02120, USA.


The present study assesses the effects of demographic risk factors on children's exposure to violence (ETV) and how these effects vary by informants. Data on exposure to violence of 9-, 12-, and 15-year-olds were collected from both child participants (N = 1880) and parents (N = 1776), as part of the assessment of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). A two-level hierarchical linear model (HLM) with multivariate outcomes was employed to analyze information obtained from these two different groups of informants. The findings indicate that parents generally report less ETV than do their children and that associations of age, gender, and parent education with ETV are stronger in the self-reports than in the parent reports. The findings support a multivariate approach when information obtained from different sources is being integrated. The application of HLM allows an assessment of interactions between risk factors and informants and uses all available data, including data from one informant when data from the other informant is missing.

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