Providing Help to Victims: A Study of Psychological and Material Outcomes in New York City, 1984-1985 (ICPSR 9479)

Principal Investigator(s): Davis, Robert C.


This data collection was designed to examine the effectiveness of a New York City agency's attempt to decrease the negative emotions that result from victimization. The data address the following questions: (1) To what extent do specific treatments mitigate the negative psychological impact of victimization? (2) Are individuals from a particular demographic group more prone to suffer from psychological adjustment problems following victimization? (3) When victimized, do individuals blame themselves or the situation? (4) Are some crimes more difficult to cope with than others? (5) Does previous victimization affect the likelihood that an individual will have difficulty coping with current as well as future victimization? Data were collected in two waves, with Wave 1 interviews completed within one month of the victimization incident and Wave 2 interviews completed three months after treatment. The effects of three treatments were measured. They included: traditional crisis counseling (which incorporates psychological aid and material assistance such as food, shelter, cash, etc.), cognitive restructuring (challenges to "irrational" beliefs about the world and one's self used in conjunction with crisis counseling), and material assistance only (no psychological aid provided). A fourth group of victims received no treatment or services. Three standardized psychometric scales were used in the study. In addition to these standardized scales, the initial assessment battery included an index of fear of crime as well as an index that measured behavior adjustment. Another set of measures assessed how victims perceived their experience of victimization and included items on self-blame, selective evaluation, and control. Also included were questions about the crime and precautions taken to guard against future victimization. The follow-up assessment battery was virtually identical to the initial battery, except that questions about services and social support received by the victim were added. The following demographic variables are included in the data: sex, age, marital status, education, income, and race. The unit of analysis was the individual.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Wave I Interview Data - Download All Files (5.251 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS2:  Wave II Interview Data - Download All Files (5.184 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   

Study Description


Davis, Robert C. PROVIDING HELP TO VICTIMS: A STUDY OF PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MATERIAL OUTCOMES IN NEW YORK CITY, 1984-1985. 2nd ICPSR version. New York, NY: Victim Services Agency [producer], 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (83-IJ-CX-0044)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    anxiety, coping, counseling, emotional states, fear, fear of crime, guilt, personal adjustment, psychological effects, psychological wellbeing, treatment, victimization, victims, victim services

Geographic Coverage:    New York City, New York (state), United States

Time Period:   

  • 1984--1985

Date of Collection:   

  • 1984-07-07--1985-03-08

Universe:    Victims of crime in New York City during 1984 and 1985.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook and data collection instrument are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.


Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1991-07-18

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB9479.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 1998-04-28 The data files and SPSS data definition statements have been replaced, and SAS data definition statements were created for this collection. Also, the codebook is now available as a PDF file.

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