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Standardizing the Display of IBR Data: Injury Variables

Data Collection and Quality Issues Associated with Injury Variables

Injuries at a Glance

Segment? Victim
Required? For some offenses
Number of Entries? 5
Number of Coding Options? 8

Data Collection

According to the FBI Data Collection Guidelines, the injury variable describes the type(s) of bodily injury suffered by an individual who was the victim of one or more of the following offenses:

100 Kidnaping/Abduction 120 Robbery
11A Forcible Rape 13A Aggravated Assault
11B Forcible Sodomy 13B Simple Assault
11C Sexual Assault With An Object 210 Extortion/Blackmail
11D Forcible Fondling

When one of these offenses occurs, up to five entries can be made for each victim.  There are 8 allowable entries:

N None M Apparent Minor Injury
B Apparent Broken Bones O Other Major Injury
I Possible Internal Injury T Loss of Teeth
L Severe Laceration U Unconsciousness

Data Quality Issues

Injury data can be used to determine whether weapon type is correctly coded.  When an injury occurs, there should be a weapon involved.  When a table is produced that compares these injuries with the weapon type, however, we can see that this isn't always the case. 

injury_weapons.jpg (129812 bytes)

As we can see from the table, 238,976 injuries were reported, yet for 20,318 of them, the reported weapon type is None.

Download the SPSS syntax for this data quality check.
Note: Please check that the variable names used in this syntax match the variable names in your data file.  If you need assistance, contact JRSA.

As was discussed in the Weapons section, injuries can also be used to determine whether assaults without a weapon are accurately coded.  For further discussion, please visit the Weapon Data Element section.