Development of a 21-item short form of the Attitudes to Sexual Offenders (ATS) scale

Hogue, Todd and Harper, Craig (2019) Development of a 21-item short form of the Attitudes to Sexual Offenders (ATS) scale. Law and Human Behavior, 43 (1). ISSN 0147-7307

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000308

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Development of a 21-item short form of the Attitudes to Sexual Offenders (ATS) scale
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Abstract

The Attitudes to Sexual Offenders scale (ATS; Hogue, 1993) is one of the most widely-used measurement instruments for assessing views about sexual offenders. The ATS has been used in a variety of contexts, most commonly in comparing forensic professionals and non-professionals in relation to their views about this population. This paper offers a review of the methods used to examine attitudes toward sexual offenders currently available, before systematically outlining the validation of a 21-item shortened version of the ATS measure (the ‘ATS-21’). First, we analyzed the ATS with regards to its underlying factor structure using a general community sample (Study 1; n = 188). This identified three factors: ‘Trust’, ‘Intent’, and ‘Social Distance’. We subsequently supported this structure through confirmatory factor analysis in a new community sample (Study 2; n = 335) and Hogue’s (1993) original ATS development data (Study 3; n = 170) in order to provide further evidence of its reliability. We also offer preliminary evidence of the ATS-21’s test-retest reliability, consistency across multiple testing contexts, resistance to social desirability, and independence from related measures (Study 4; n = 59). We close by recommending the use of the ATS-21 for researchers examining attitudes toward sexual offenders and offer suggestions for a new unified research design to incorporate the ATS-21 into emerging research into the psychological underpinnings of attitudes and responses to sexual offenders. We offer open data at https://osf.io/ymhsw/ and open scoring resources for the ATS-21 at https://osf.io/34hsx/.

Additional Information:The final published version of this article is available online at https://link.springer.com/journal/10979
Keywords:attitudes, sexual offenders, scale validation, factor analysis, clinical judgements
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:33525
Deposited On:11 Oct 2018 14:23

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