Reimagining the Community Attitudes Towards Sex Offenders scale (CATSO)

Harper, Craig and Hogue, Todd (2014) Reimagining the Community Attitudes Towards Sex Offenders scale (CATSO). In: IATSO Annual Conference, 3-6 September 2014, University of Porto, Portugal.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
Item Status:Live Archive


The Community Attitudes Towards Sex Offenders Scale (CATSO) is a measure respondents' attitudes towards sex offenders. However, previous studies indicate that it has a questionable factor structure. To address this, the present paper used new validation data to ‘reimagine’ the scale as an outcome, as opposed to attitudinal, measure. First, face validity analysis of the original 18 CATSO items produced a three-factor structure: 'punitiveness', 'stereotype endorsement', and 'risk perception'. Next, four items were removed because of poor loadings in previous studies and their reference to 'sex offences' as opposed to 'sex offenders'. Eight new items were added to improve the power of the three proposed factors. A sample of 400 British community members then completed the resulting 22-item CATSO. A three-factor structure emerged using data from half of the sample. These factors were labelled 'sentencing and management', 'stereotype endorsement', and 'risk perception'. Confirmatory factor analysis using data from the other half of the sample supported this structure. Finally, two items relating to sex offenders' levels of sexual activity were removed in order to improve goodness-of-fit statistics. The practical utility of the resultant 20-item 'Perceptions of Sex Offenders Scale' will be explored along with avenues for future research.

Keywords:Attitudes, sexual crime
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:16385
Deposited On:08 Jan 2015 15:53

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