Psychometric properties of the Desensitization to Violence Scale for Adolescents

Jaime Sebastián F. Galán Jiménez, Omar Sánchez-Armáss Cappello, Luis Felipe García y Barragán


Introduction: Desensitization to violence is the result of exposure to violence. It reduces the negative emotions in cognitive and physiological responses to violence and can even generate a positive response to it.

Method: A mixed sequential method yielding a transactional analytic design for Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis with a sample of 1720 participants of 25 different high schools and a juvenile detention center. Followed by convergent validity (as a criterion validity) with a different sample.

Results: The EFA’s cumulative explained variance was 52% with a GFI of .98 with a three-factor model: sensitivity to violence, amusement with physical violence, and enjoyment of psychological violence. The CFA showed scores above .50 in Average Explained Variance in every factor, and an ideal model fit in every measure (CFI, AGFI, RMSEA, SRMR, and ECVI). The remaining factors are only those related with enjoying or amusement with violent behavior, indicating that the desensitization to violence is related not only with the normalization and legitimation of violence, but the increasing of the performance and amusement of it.

Discussion or Conclusion: The scale of desensitization to violence for adolescents has adequate psychometric properties and can be a valuable instrument to generate intervention or prevention programs, especially for its intimate relationship with high scores in people interned because of their criminal behavior.


habituation; youth; psychometrics; social psychology; violence

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