Assessing satisfaction with victim services: The development and use of the victim satisfaction with offender dialogue scale (VSODS)

W. Bradshaw, M. Umbreit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


There is an increasing need for restorative justice programs to evaluate program outcomes. Victim satisfaction is one of the essential components of program evaluation. Evaluation of victim satisfaction is important because it provides a means by which victims can have input into the restorative justice process: satisfaction data can provide feedback about program services; identify problems and needs from the victim perspective; and provide data that increase knowledge about the process of mediated dialogue that results in improved victim services. Previous research on satisfaction with victim offender mediation has been limited by lack of a standardized victim satisfaction scale. The Victim Satisfaction with Offender Dialogue Scale represents a pioneer effort to measure victim satisfaction with offender dialogue through psychometric development of an instrument (VSODS). Data were obtained from 197 subjects from four victim offender mediation program sites in the United States. The data were analyzed using principal components factor analysis. The first factor derived from this solution accounted for 38% of the total variance and roughly 70% of the common variance. When items with high first factor loading were removed and the analysis repeated, no other factor accounted for as much as 6% of the total variance. To construct a briefer scale for assessing victim satisfaction with services, the factor loadings and item-total correlations of the first factor were examined. Eleven items were selected which loaded highly on the unrotated first factor and which exhibited good inter-item and item-total correlations. The coefficient alpha for the final VSODS was 0.87. This indicates the VSODS is a reliable instrument for assessing victim satisfaction with mediated dialogue. Guidelines for use of the VSODS are provided to enhance program evaluation activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Review of Victimology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003

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