Poly-victimization: a neglected component in child victimization.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To assess the role of multiple victimization, or what is termed in this article "poly-victimization," in explaining trauma symptomatology. METHOD: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: Researchers and practitioners need to assess for a broader range of victimizations, and avoid studies and assessments organized around a single form of victimization.
  • Authors

  • Finkelhor, David
  • Ormrod, Richard K
  • Turner, Heather
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2007
  • Published In


  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Child
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Abuse, Sexual
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Crime
  • Crime Victims
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Violence
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 17224181
  • Start Page

  • 7
  • End Page

  • 26
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 1