Using self-report surveys in schools to study violence in alternative care: A methodological approach

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In this article we explore a Finnish nationally representative self-report survey (N = 155, 299) conducted in a school as a tool to advance the study of violence in alternative care. By analysing the survey, we were able to provide plausible prevalence and estimates of risk factors of violence in alternative care, suggesting that self-report surveys conducted in schools are a useful and valid methodology for this type of research. Conducting the survey in a school setting enabled us to reach a nationally representative population of adolescents living in alternative care, which would be difficult to achieve in any other way. However, studying violence in alternative care with a school survey requires a large sample size. Even with quite a substantial dataset, detailed explanatory analyses were not possible due to the low number of observations. This emphasises the importance of other types of data in addition to survey data in explanatory analysis. Based on this study, we concluded that nationally representative self-report surveys conducted in schools could provide a useful tool and possibilities for replicable research design, which could thereby develop the research field further.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2814
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • adolescents
  • alternative care
  • children
  • self-report survey
  • violence

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Law


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