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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    • "Children who grow up in circumstances of DV are described as at risk of a range of psychosocial difficulties, including risk of mental health difficulties across the lifespan (Meltzer et al. 2009, Mezey et al. 2005), educational challenges (Byrne & Taylor, 2007), and interpersonal difficulties in their own future intimate relationships and friendships (Black, Sussman, & Unger, 2010;Ehrensaft et al., 2003;Siegel, 2013). They are also more at risk of both bullying and being bullied (Baldry, 2003;Lepistö, Luukkaala, & Paavilainen, 2011) and are vulnerable to a range of other possible abuses across their lifespan (Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Turner, 2007;Turner, Finkelhor, & Ormrod, 2010). They are represented as haaig oe ooetee sttles of elatig ad edued eeotioal competence (Katz, Hessler, & Annest, 2007;Katz & Windecker-Nelson, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores how children see their relationships, particularly their sibling relationships, in families affected by domestic violence (DV) and how relationality emerges in their accounts as a resource to build an agentic sense of self. The 'voice' of children is largely absent from the DV literature, which typically portrays them as passive, damaged and relationally incompetent. Children's own understandings of their relational worlds are often overlooked, and consequently, existing models of children's social interactions give inadequate accounts of their meaning-making-in-context. Drawn from a larger study of children's experiences of DV and abuse, this article uses two case studies of sibling relationships to explore young people's use of relational resources, for coping with violence in the home. The article explores how relationality and coping intertwine in young people's accounts and disrupts the taken-for-granted assumption that children's 'premature caring' or 'parentification' is (only) pathological in children's responses to DV. This has implications for understanding young people's experiences in the present and supporting their capacity for relationship building in the future. The full article appears here: If you can't access that, please send a message or email I'd be very happy to send you a copy.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
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    • "Despite the accumulating evidence that victimization occurs widely and leads to a host of negative outcomes among adolescents , most prior work has focused on adolescents prior to the age of 17 (e.g., Turner et al. 2010) or on college samples of young adults. Few studies have assessed victimization among a community sample of individuals between the ages of 17 to 21, referred to as late adolescents (American Academy of Pediatrics 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated whether having friends who engaged in more prosocial than antisocial behaviors buffered the associations between family-of-origin aggression and later victimization. Adolescent participants (N = 125) and their parents reported on different types of family aggression in early adolescence. Approximately 5 years later, adolescents reported on their victimization experiences with dating partners and friends, and their friends’ prosocial and antisocial behaviors. Only father-to-child aggression was significantly associated with dating and friend victimization, with stronger risk for females’ dating victimization. Moreover, having friends who engaged in more prosocial than antisocial behaviors had both a direct inverse relationship with dating partner victimization. This also buffered the risk for dating victimization associated with father-daughter aggression. Findings suggest that greater attention be paid to the father-daughter relationship and to the importance of having friends who engage in prosocial behaviors in the prevention of adolescents’ victimization.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
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    • "However, most studies to date have not addressed the diversity of victimized youth in ways that allow the researcher to identify groups with particular victimizations patterns. For example, it has been suggested that polyvictimization may be especially damaging because youth who are exposed to many different types of victimization are likely to experience serious incidents involving multiple life contexts and many types of perpetrators [7]. Yet, existing research has not directly specified patterns of variation in the severity, location, and perpetrator type among juvenile victims. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The current research used latent class analysis to uncover groups of youth with specific victimization profiles and identify factors that are associated with membership in each victimization group. Methods: This study used data from National Survey of Children Exposure to Violence II. Random digit dialing and address-based sampling were used to obtain a nationally representative sample of 2,312 youth ages 10-17 years. Phone interviews, averaging 55 minutes in length, were conducted with caregivers to obtain both consent and background information and then with youths themselves. Results: Six groups of youth emerged: (1) nonvictims (26.4%), (2) home victims (8.4%), (3) school victims (20.8%), (4) home and school victims (21.3%), (5) community victims (5.4%), and (6) polyvictims (17.8%). Polyvictims were likely to have been victimized in multiple settings by multiple perpetrators and experienced the most serious aggravating characteristics, including incidents involving a weapon, injury, or a sexual component. Youth in the polyvictim class experienced the highest number of different victimizations types in the past year and had the most problematic profile in other ways, including greater likelihood of living in disordered communities, high probabilities of engaging in delinquency of all types, elevated lifetime adversity, low levels of family support, and the highest trauma symptom scores. Conclusions: The study supports the contention that a core basis of the particularly damaging effects of polyvictimization is the experience of victimization across multiple domains of the child's life.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Adolescent Health
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