Date of Award

Spring 6-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

Department

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Lynette Bikos

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Beverly J. Wilson

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Laura Brown

Abstract

The Legal Advocacy Services Satisfaction Survey (LASSS; Gibbs, Agatonovic, & Bikos, 2011) is a nine-item self-report inventory developed to evaluate both the quality of the information provided by the legal advocate as well as the quality of the relationship the advocate has established with the client. This dissertation sought to address an important gap in the literature on sexual violence and the provision of legal advocacy services by examining survey data collected from adult (i.e., age 18 and over) female survivors working with legal advocates at an urban-based agency that provides multiple types of services to survivors of sexual violence and their families. Survey items were developed via consensual qualitative research (CQR: Hill Thompson, & Williams, 1997) and examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The items of the LASSS formed two lower-order factors comprised of four items reflecting information and five items reflecting relationship, (ꭓ2 [24; N = 181] = 132.714, p < .001; CFI = .929; RMSEA = .159). Further psychometric analyses demonstrated: (a) satisfactory convergent (r = .467, p < .01 [two-tailed]) and discriminant (r = .387, p < .01 [two-tailed]) validity; (b) good internal consistency (overall scale - T1 α = .948; T2 α = .957), and (c) robust temporal stability (r = .794, p < .01; two-tailed) of the measure. The LASSS demonstrates promise as both a screener and measure of client satisfaction with the provision of legal advocacy services; the measure can be completed by clients in less than 5 minutes and is easy for advocates to score and interpret. Information derived from the LASSS can be used by advocates to address aspects of service provision that may not be serving clients’ needs effectively. Further validation of the measure and its potential use as a tool to support training and development, supervision, program evaluation and grant writing are discussed.

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