Kolton Smith: Master’s Thesis Progress Update

Master’s student, Kolton Smith, presented a progress update on his Master’s thesis, “Victim-Perpetrator Overlap and Posttraumatic Growth”. The Victim-Perpetrator Overlap is when someone who was a victim becomes a perpetrator and vis versa. The study’s purpose is to explore the phenomenon of Victim-Perpetrator Overlap (VPO), Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in relation to VPO, and if perpetrators report PTG concurrently with offending.

Kolton hypothesized that (1) people who experience PTG as a victim will be less likely to become a perpetrator, (2) people who are asked to reflect on their victim experiences first will be less likely to report instances of being a perpetrator than those who are asked to reflect on their perpetration experiences first, and (3) PTG as a victim will be greater than that of PTG as a perpetrator regardless of condition.

The design separated the participants randomly into two groups on which questions will appear first: victim questions or perpetrator questions. The independent variables are the question order condition and victim/perpetrator experiences. The dependent variables are the reported amounts of PTG (victim and perpetrator) and offenses.

Near the end of the Fall 2021 semester, the preliminary data analysis was performed using the valid 209 OU data sets with 106 participants with Perpetrator questions first and 103 participants with Victim questions first. So far, it has been found that PTGI-perpetrator is positively correlated with PTGI-victim, PTGI-perpetrator only slightly correlated with total perpetrator experiences, PTGI-victim significantly correlated with total victim experiences, and PTGI-victim very slightly correlated with total perpetrator experiences.

At this point, data collection is continuing with a community sample and preliminary data analysis is progressing. You are making great progress, Kolton! Keep up the great work.

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