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

Hogue, T.E. and Harper, C.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3172-0129, 2019. Development of a 21-item short form of the Attitudes to Sexual Offenders (ATS) scale. Law and Human Behavior, 43 (1), pp. 117-130. ISSN 0147-7307

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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.ioymhsw/ and open scoring resources for the ATS-21 at https://osf.io34hsx/.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Attitudes to sexual offenders [running head]
Publication Title: Law and Human Behavior
Creators: Hogue, T.E. and Harper, C.A.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Date: 17 December 2019
Volume: 43
Number: 1
ISSN: 0147-7307
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Sep 2018 13:17
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 10:46

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