Poly-Victimization in a National Sample of Children and Youth

Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, 20 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03857, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 03/2010; 38(3):323-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.11.012
Source: PubMed


Most studies of children's exposure to violence focus on separate, relatively narrow categories of victimization (such as sexual abuse, physical maltreatment, or bullying), paying less attention to exposure to multiple forms of victimization.
This study documents children's lifetime exposure to multiple victimization types (i.e., "poly-victimization") and examines the association between poly-victimization and extent of trauma symptomatology.
Analyses were based on telephone interviews conducted between January 2008 and May 2008 with a nationally representative sample of 4053 children aged 2-17 years and their caregivers.
Exposure to multiple forms of victimization was common. Almost 66% of the sample was exposed to more than one type of victimization, 30% experienced five or more types, and 10% experienced 11 or more different forms of victimization in their lifetimes. Poly-victims comprise a substantial portion of the children who would be identified by screening for an individual victimization type, such as sexual assault or witnessing parental violence. Poly-victimization is more highly related to trauma symptoms than experiencing repeated victimizations of a single type and explains a large part of the associations between individual forms of victimization and symptom levels.
Studies focusing on single forms of victimization are likely to underestimate the full burden of victimization that children experience and to incorrectly specify the risk profiles of victims. Research, clinical practice, and intervention strategies are likely to improve with more comprehensive assessments of victimization exposure.

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Available from: Richard Ormrod, Mar 05, 2014
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    • "Without controlling for a wide range of victimization experiences, the impact of a specific form of victimization may be overestimated (Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Turner, 2007). In fact, research shows that experiencing many different types of victimization is a stronger predictor of psycho-social outcomes than experiencing repeated victimizations of a single type (Turner et al., 2010). Empirical studies of polyvictimization point to the harmful effects of experiencing multiple forms of victimizations, such as increased psychological distress (i.e., anger, depression, and anxiety) substantially beyond the influence of individual victimizations (Finkelhor et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although criminological research has provided support for general strain theory (GST), there is still little known about the relationship between victimization and delinquency among Latino adolescents. This study seeks to fill the gap in the literature by examining the association between a broader measure of victimization (i.e., polyvictimization) and delinquent behavior using data from the Dating Violence Among Latino Adolescents (DAVILA) Study, a national sample of Latino youth. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine two issues: (a) whether polyvictimization is associated with self-reported delinquent behavior and (b) whether anger mediates the relationship between polyvictimization and delinquency. Our findings provided partial support for GST among Latino youth. Specifically, the effect of polyvictimization on delinquency was explained in part by its effect on anger. Contrary to the theory's hypothesis, the effect of polyvictimization was not conditional on the effect of social support. Overall, findings suggested that GST is a promising framework for understanding the relationship between polyvictimization and delinquency among Latino youth. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 07/2015; DOI:10.1177/0886260515593544 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    • "Most of the studies have been conducted in adolescent populations (Finkelhor et al. 2007b; Nilsson et al. 2010, 2012; Soler et al. 2012, 2013; Zetterqvist et al. 2012) and Finkelhor and coworkers have, in several studies, demonstrated the negative impact of polyvictimization (multiple types of victimizations) among adolescents (Finkelhor et al. 2007a,b, 2009a; Turner et al. 2010). Finkelhor and colleagues have identified victims and polyvictims by counting the different types of youth victimizations over both the last year and the (youth) lifetime, and have suggested classifying polyvictims as the 10% most victimized in the population (Finkelhor et al. 2009a). "
    Brain and Behavior 05/2015; 5(5). DOI:10.1002/brb3.344 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    • "R. Anderson & Mayes, 2010). Few studies in the general population on children's exposure to violence in various domains (Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Turner, 2007; Finkelhor, Ormrod, Turner, & Holt, 2009; Margolin, Vickerman, Oliver, & Gordis, 2010; Turner et al., 2010) indicate that experiencing different forms of victimization is more highly related to trauma symptoms than experiencing repeated victimization of a single type. Finkelhor suggested the concept " poly-victimization " to describe exposure to multiple forms of maltreatment or violence (Finkelhor et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Among children visiting child and adolescent mental health care (CAM), the prevalence of exposure to family violence (FV) is reported to exceed prevalence in community samples, as are potentially traumatic interpersonal events (IPE) outside the family. The aim of the study was to relate CAM patients' self-reported experiences of violence exposure to their current psychiatric symptoms and to compare patients exposed to violence with patients who reported no exposure. We asked 305 consecutive 9- to 17-year-old patients in CAM about their current and previous exposure to violence in and outside of the family. Prevalence of exposure to any kind of violence was 67%. Reported exposures were 19% to IPE, 21% to FV, and 27% to both. Children exposed to both FV and IPE were more negatively affected by the events than children exposed to FV or IPE only. Children in the FV + IPE group reported more mental health symptoms than those in the no violence (33%) group. In general, IPE was related to the outcome measures only in combination with FV. Degree of violence exposure seemed to have a dose-response relationship with the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 04/2015; DOI:10.1177/0886260515584335 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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