Poly-victimization: a neglected component in child victimization.

Crimes against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, 126 Horton Social Science Center, Durham, NH 03824, USA.
Child Abuse & Neglect (Impact Factor: 2.47). 02/2007; 31(1):7-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.06.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the role of multiple victimization, or what is termed in this article "poly-victimization," in explaining trauma symptomatology.
In a nationally representative sample of 2,030 children ages 2-17, assessment was made of the past year's victimization experiences and recent trauma symptoms.
Children experiencing four or more different kinds of victimization in a single year (poly-victims) comprised 22% of the sample. Poly-victimization was highly predictive of trauma symptoms, and when taken into account, greatly reduced or eliminated the association between individual victimizations (e.g., sexual abuse) and symptomatology. Poly-victims were also more symptomatic than children with only repeated episodes of the same kind of victimization.
Researchers and practitioners need to assess for a broader range of victimizations, and avoid studies and assessments organized around a single form of victimization.

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