Polyvictimization and Youth Violence Exposure Across Contexts.

Academic Article


  • 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┬áminutes 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.
  • Authors

  • Turner, Heather
  • Shattuck, Anne
  • Finkelhor, David
  • Hamby, Sherry
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 2016
  • Published In


  • Adolescent
  • Bullying
  • Child
  • Crime Victims
  • Exposure to Violence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polyvictimization
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trauma symptoms
  • United States
  • Violence
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 26598060
  • Start Page

  • 208
  • End Page

  • 214
  • Volume

  • 58
  • Issue

  • 2