On 7 November 2019 at 12:15 Oliver Nahkur will defend his doctoral thesis „Measurement of Interpersonal Destructiveness: the Societal Perspective“ in the Council of the Institute of Social Studies.
Associate Professor Dagmar Kutsar, University of Tartu
Professor emeritus Rein Taagepera, University of Tartu and University of California, Irvine, USA
Dr. Heinz-Herbert Noll, Director emeritus, Social Indicators Research Centre, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
An important challenge to academics, policy-makers and practitioners working on violence prevention is absence of worldwide reliable and comparable country-level data collected at regular basis (Butchart and Mikton 2014; Diprose 2007; Krug et al. 2002b; Walby et al. 2017). Thus, following internationally accepted guidelines (e.g., Babbie 2013; Nardo et al. 2008; Mazziotta and Pareto 2017; Dialga and Giang 2017), a new composite social indicator–Societal Index of Interpersonal Destructiveness (SIID)–was developed in this doctoral study that can be used as a regular and cross-nationally comparable indicator of interpersonal violence across societies. SIID uses existing regular internationally harmonised and comparable data. It is a two-dimensional index combining indirect items representing prerequisites’ and consequences’ dimensions of interpersonal destructiveness. Its workability was also tested on child population data. The results of this dissertation showed methodological soundness of SIID. It can be concluded that:
- SIID is internally consistent composite social indicator (Study I and II);
- after relevant operationalisations, SIID conceptual scheme can also be applied to child population (Study II);
- SIID can serve comparative purposes in time and space (Study III);
- SIID can be further improved and adapted to new population groups with improvements in the availability of internationally harmonised and regularly collected data.
Through regular social monitoring and reporting, SIID has the potential to inform the public, stimulate public interest, initiate discussion, and form and develop particular sensitivity function; to offer a ‘food’ for media’s appetite for statistic-based narratives; and to be a lobbying tool for interest groups. In addition to academic use, SIID has also potential to be a new social indicator which statisticians will add to their indicator system and international organisations like WHO will use in their violence prevention initiatives.