Testing the validity and reliability of the Shame Questionnaire among sexually abused girls in Zambia

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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of the current study is to test the validity and reliability of the Shame Questionnaire among traumatized girls in Lusaka, Zambia. Methods: The Shame Questionnaire was validated through both classical test and item response theory methods. Internal reliability, criterion validity and construct validity were examined among a sample of 325 female children living in Zambia. Sub-analyses were conducted to examine differences in construct validity among girls who reported sexual abuse and girls who did not. Results: All girls in the sample were sexually abused, but only 61.5% endorsed or reported that sexual abuse had occurred. Internal consistency was very good among the sample with alpha = .87. Criterion validity was demonstrated through a significant difference of mean Shame Questionnaire scores between girls who experienced 0-1 trauma events and more than one traumatic event, with higher mean Shame Questionnaire scores among girls who had more than one traumatic event (p = .004 for 0-1 compared to 2 and 3 events and p = .016 for 0-1 compared to 4+ events). Girls who reported a history of witnessing or experiencing physical abuse had a significantly higher mean Shame Questionnaire score than girls who did not report a history of witnessing or experiencing physical abuse (p

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Michalopoulos, L. T. M., Murray, L. K., Kane, J. C., Van Wyk, S. S., Chomba, E., Cohen, J., … Bolton, P. A. (2015). Testing the validity and reliability of the Shame Questionnaire among sexually abused girls in Zambia. PLoS ONE, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0123820

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