Dissertation Defense Announcement

 College of Education announces the Final Dissertation Defense of

Madeline Stenersen

for the Degree of Doctor of Education
October 30, 2019 at 12:00 PM Ball Hall Room 109
Advisor: Elin Ovrebo

Development and Validation of the Attitudes Towards Individuals Who Sell Sex Inventory

ABSTRACT: Previous research regarding public and individual attitudes about individuals who sell sex (ISS) suggest these attitudes have a significant impact on how this population is treated in various facets of their life (e.g. mental and physical healthcare, occupational opportunities, and daily interactions with others). The manner in which researchers have measured attitudes about ISS has been historically inconsistent and does not encompass all ISS, often excluding subsections of the population such as men who sell sex. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to develop and validate the Attitudes Towards Individuals Who Sell Sex Inventory (ATISS), an instrument designed to reliably and validly assess attitudes towards ISS. After constructing an initial item pool and revising based on expert feedback, Study 1 was launched involving an exploratory factor analysis of 31 items. Data from 240 participants revealed a four-factor structure across 21 items including social distance, human value, impact on society, and parenting. Results from Study 1 indicated a Cronbach's Alpha of .95 for the total scale and ranged from .87 to .94 for the subscales. Study 2 was then conducted to determine the convergent and divergent validity of the ATISS structure and test-retest reliability after one month. Results from 405 participants revealed sufficient divergent and convergent validity and adequate test-retest reliability across 37 on all subscales as well as the full ATISS scale scores (r > .70). Findings from the current study indicate that the ATISS is a multidimensional, psychometrically sound instrument to measure attitudes towards individuals who sell sex.